WALL STREET

HOW IT WORKS AND FOR WHOM

Wall Street mavens who hate challenges to their self-serving worldview will not enjoy this book. One of the most striking characteristics of the American financial world is its ideological rigidity. Backed by the intellectual legitimacy of neoclassical economics and the wealth of the upper classes, the managers of money resolutely cling to beliefs bordering on the absurd. The stock market is understood as a vehicle for raising capital (although it is primarily a place to buy and sell existing shares of stock) and allocating it rationally (although phenomena like panic buying and selling are common); capital is understood as a purely neutral entity independent of concerns such as power and justice. Henwood (editor of Left Business Observer and host of a weekly radio show on WBAI in New York City) rejects this orthodoxy and amplifies his sin by questioning both the market's value in the economy and its impartiality in society. Anyone not put off by his self-conscious performance as a gadfly and possessing an even slightly open mind will find his inventory of the financial instruments, players, and consequences of the stock market a refreshing and informative break from the usual claptrap of financiers and respectable journalists. This guy actually thinks that the distribution of wealth matters in a society, that there are legitimate concerns regarding incomes beyond keeping wages down and return on capital high, and that assessments of the financial system should not be divorced from such issues. Unfortunately, in the latter half of the volume he moves into theoretical territory that will not hold the neophyte's interest, and few insiders will be willing to seriously consider his analysis. As a result it's unlikely that Henwood's work will be widely read or cut through the prevailing dogma. Next assignment: Present the same ideas in a more accessible form to a wider audience.

Pub Date: July 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-86091-495-X

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Verso

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997

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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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