Cooper-Clark’s nonfiction debut tells the story of two camps in Kingston, Jamaica, where Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe were interned during World War II.
In careful, meticulous detail, Cooper-Clark looks at Gibraltar Camp II and Up Park Camp and refugees’ experiences there—a tale that’s largely unknown even to some WWII history buffs. Using a wide array of primary sources, the author reconstitutes the tales of dozens of Jewish refugees, many of whom only reached the comparative safety of Jamaica after long and harrowing flights from their homelands and dangerous border crossings on their way to Lisbon, known as “the refugee capital of Europe.” In addition to tracing the life stories of individual inmates and their families, the author also outlines the history of Jewish life in Jamaica before the war and renders with precision and narrative flair the complete story of the camps’ existence. “The skeins of history that link the British, the Jewish refugees, and Gibraltar Camp II require disentanglement,” she writes at one point, and this well-organized tome, generously illustrated with photographs, accomplishes this, laying vital groundwork for all future studies of the subject while also making for engaging reading. The stories of the refugees’ flights are, predictably enough, the most gripping parts of the narrative, depicting desperate families hastily grabbing whatever possessions they could before fleeing into unknown futures. The drama of these stories is heightened by Cooper-Clark’s abundant use of immediate, firsthand oral histories. Overall, these testimonies bring the difficult life in the camps into clearer focus.
A highly detailed and readable exploration of war stories that other histories largely overlook.
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").
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)