AHEAD OF HER TIME

ABBY KELLEY AND THE POLITICS OF ANTISLAVERY

From Sterling (ed., We Are Your Sisters, 1983), a full-scale biography that reveals the pioneering spirit of an early feminist and abolitionist. Abby Kelley (1811-87)—``the moral Joan of Arc of the world,'' according to William Lloyd Garrison—initiated the women's rights movement in this country but chose antislavery as her priority. As lecture agent, main organizer, and chief fund-raiser for the American Anti-Slavery Society, she established a network of regional abolitionist newspapers and local antislavery societies in the North and West. At numerous conventions and meetings, Kelley and her abolitionist husband, Stephen Foster, spoke before ``promiscuous audiences''—men and women. The Fosters denounced the constitution as a proslavery document and worked with ex-slaves Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth and feminists Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucy Stone. They deplored the ``Slave Power'' interests of the Mexican War and used their Massachusetts home as a station on the Underground Railroad. When the Civil War erupted, Kelley urged emancipation as a war goal and demanded that slaves have full equality, land, and the vote. A dynamic political force, Kelley and her ``Abby Kelleyites'' lobbied for the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments even as Kelley courageously suffered a two-year illness, the loss of all her teeth, failing eyesight, and a dangerous operation for ovarian cancer. Though Kelley left little source material, Sterling has combed through hundreds of contemporary letters and newspaper articles to flesh out her human side. The plethora of conventions, meetings, and lectures occasionally slows the pace but underscores the commitment of a unique woman whose role in history has been neglected, Sterling says, by the bias of male historians and by suffragettes who felt Kelley should have pushed for a Fifteenth Amendment that included, in addition to voting rights for nonwhites, suffrage for women. A serviceable biography adding to the lore of a difficult period of growth in US history. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 1991

ISBN: 0-393-03026-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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