A Vietnam veteran’s debut memoir offers a tribute to his fellow soldiers.
Trimmer provides a detailed reminiscence of his personal experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. Along the way, he places his story in the wider context of the war and addresses the conditions and circumstances of veterans in the decades that followed. Trimmer has little affection for the Army itself and describes abysmal conditions while he was deployed, but he does value the bonds he formed with the men with which he served, and he makes clear that their fraternal loyalty continues to the present day. Personal stories, contributed by other members of Trimmer’s platoon, expand the story beyond his own experiences, and a chapter devoted to veterans who have died is particularly affecting. The author has less sympathy for people who opposed the war; “Hanoi Jane Fonda” and the “Ameri-Cong” media come in for particular vitriol, and Trimmer cites his opposition to “Hanoi John” Kerry’s 2004 presidential run as his motivation for beginning to speak publicly about Vietnam. He also offers devastating indictments of people who made it difficult for veterans to receive necessary support in their civilian lives. With his own diagnoses of PTSD and Type 2 diabetes caused by wartime exposure to Agent Orange, Trimmer has experienced many of the challenges that veterans face; however, as he notes, his “novice attempt at writing a book of this size may not be as fluid as most book readers are used to.” Although discrete sections offer cogent, vivid narratives, they’re disorganized and occasionally repetitive, and the author’s passion for his arguments often overwhelms his prose (“Historians should note that American troops were badly outnumbered on the battlefields of Vietnam. Americans who fought there and survived should be proud of this. BUT…THE MEDIA CONTINUES TO STEAL OUR VALOR!”).
An unevenly executed memoir about the disastrous results of the Vietnam War and its aftermath.
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)
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").