An excellent look at the marijuana subculture, deluded or not, aspiring to the Middle-American mainstream.

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BURNING RAINBOW FARM

HOW A STONER UTOPIA WENT UP IN SMOKE

The story behind the FBI raid on a Michigan farm that could have become the next Waco or Ruby Ridge—except that 9/11 intervened.

On September 9, 2001, Los Angeles–based journalist Kuipers read a newspaper article about the killing of two men by FBI sharpshooters at a southwestern Michigan campground, following a standoff that ran over the Labor Day weekend. Two days later, when people confronting the FBI were suddenly perceived less like defenders of their constitutional rights and more like terrorists, the story was dropped flat by most news media. Kuipers, however, had grown up near tiny Vandalia, Mich., and knew that smoking pot in the state was a misdemeanor, enforcement rare. “The shootings . . . smelled funny the moment I read about them,” he writes; he decided to follow up. For years, he relates, owner Tom Crosslin had groomed Rainbow Farm as a campground, meeting place and concert venue specifically for users and proponents of the legalization of cannabis. “Festivals,” usually dubbed something like Roach Roast or Hash Bash, were regular events; name artists performed for enthusiastic, presumably stoned audiences. The author goes to some lengths and generally succeeds in showing how the outlying conservative rural community, while hardly in favor of legal pot or post-hippie lifestyles, could tolerate Crosslin, his much-younger male lover Rollie Rohm and their crowd on the simple basis that what they did was their own business in a free country. But the county prosecutor’s office had other ideas. When Crosslin and Rohm were caught with a few cannabis plants growing in the basement, they were threatened with outright forfeiture of their property and possible prison time. Defaulting on their court date, the two armed themselves and prepared to burn Rainbow Farm to the ground. Was it spontaneous escalation, or did the War on Drugs go so far as to incorporate murder?

An excellent look at the marijuana subculture, deluded or not, aspiring to the Middle-American mainstream.

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-59691-142-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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