VISION QUEST

MEN, WOMEN AND SACRED SITES OF THE SIOUX NATION

A vivid photo essay revealing in words and pictures the heritage and modern social and political currents of the Sioux Nation. Photographer Doll (Fine Arts/Creighton Univ.) has recorded the faces and personal stories of 60 members of the Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota tribes living on the tribal lands of South Dakota. Doll's book portrays individuals—lawyers, doctors, ranchers, artisans, tribal council leaders, medicine men, political activists—each uniquely contributing to the preservation and furtherance of his or her culture. Several recurrent themes emerge: the problems of alcoholism, the nascent ambitions for economic development, the pressing need for young people to find their cultural roots, and the insistent demand that the federal government return the sacred lands of the Black Hills. Not overly edited, the words of these people convey a range of feelings from patience to anger, and the tribespeople place varying degrees of emphasis on spiritual and economic problems, but this is befitting a people who are not monolithic in their thoughts or their talents. Doll's photographs show Indian people in traditional pow-wow garb, in suits and ties, on horseback amid the splendor of the Black Hills, surrounded by craftwork in their studios or seated in front of television sets. A much-decorated Vietnam War veteran crouches next to his small son in a field, his khaki shirt emblazoned with an ``Airborne'' insignia. An official of a tribal gaming organization stands backlit by the garish neon of a casino sign: ``Tribal gaming is the new buffalo,'' he says. A writer sits contemplatively on a small hill in some woodlands: ``There seems to be a contemporary reliance upon the ritual life which is...as much a crutch as the bottle was,'' she deplores. Some very striking pictures of sacred sites open this book; one wishes that Doll had included more. He has thoughtfully added a chart of tribes of the Sioux Nation. A rich and rewarding panoply of words and images of this resurgent people. (75 color photos; map; glossary)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-517-59049-X

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1994

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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