An entertaining, informative guidebook to some cool places populated by people to whom attention should be paid.



A tour of the territories of the United States, “those scattered shards of earth and populace that make up our outposts far from the North American continent.”

A peripatetic traveler, Mack (Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day: One Man, Eight Countries, One Vintage Travel Guide, 2012, etc.) decided to explore the five populated island augments to the U.S., providing an antic guide to their histories, geography, and economies, not to mention bits of ethnography. The first port of call is Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were once Danish and once home to Alexander Hamilton. Today, Mack finds them simultaneously a little dangerous and quite friendly. Thence we go to the sociable city of Pago Pago in American Samoa, which appears to be Middle America in the South Pacific, devout and devoted to football. Guam, which was so strategic during World War II, also evinces echt Americana. The commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands contains forlorn Saipan, which was crucial to victory in the Pacific; there, the author met “many outsiders with big dreams.” It also boasts Banzai Cliff, where Japanese combatants and civilians hurled themselves to their deaths to avoid being captured by American forces. Finally, our guide takes us to bigger and more complex Puerto Rico, with a population of 3.5 million, the site of a wellspring of immigration to the mainland. There, the persistent question remains: statehood, independence, or just forget it? Throughout the deft narrative, Mack presents numerous revealing vignettes of far-flung Yankee civilization, many the results of our experiments with Manifest Destiny over a century ago, when Uncle Sam traveled to Polynesia, Micronesia, and the Caribbean searching for military outposts and a place in world affairs.

An entertaining, informative guidebook to some cool places populated by people to whom attention should be paid.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-393-24760-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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



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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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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