An unfocused but deeply felt plea for better treatment of veterans.

PAYBACK TIME !

AMERICA'S VETERANS UNITE TO CHALLENGE VA FOR OVERDUE BENEFITS

A Vietnam veteran argues for better health care for veterans and a conservative surge in the 2016 elections.

In this follow-up to Condemned Property? (2013), Trimmer returns to the challenges Vietnam veterans have faced since the 1970s, with particular emphasis on the recent shortcomings of the Veterans Administration. Trimmer draws on his own story—he has clashed with the VA over conditions related to his Vietnam service—and those of other veterans, along with research and news reports, to present a portrait of a system incapable of meeting its users’ needs. The book also includes copies of letters Trimmer sent to government officials, replies he has received from them, and testimonials from readers of Condemned Property? He proposes a number of solutions, including punishment for VA officials, sufficient funding, and supporting Ben Carson’s campaign for the presidency. Although Trimmer gives the president credit for some improvements in the services offered to veterans, his dislike rings clearly, often in strident terms: “If his majesty, Barack Hussein Obama has enough time on his hands”; “If Dr. Ben has decided to enter the brutal presidential election, may God be with this fine gentleman. Too bad he wasn’t out first black President instead of Barack Hussein Obama who is not a great American.” Throughout, Trimmer is explicit about the role he plays—“I am a Christian Crusading Militant who has vowed to remain a soldier for the rest of my life, which means I am prepared to put my life on the line for America...again.” However, the book’s detours into polemic territory are often unfocused and uneven, adding little to the central arguments about the treatment of veterans from Vietnam and more recent wars. Trimmer is at his most successful in moments when his passion and knowledge of the veteran experience combine to make a compelling case for the country’s continuing responsibility to its soldiers.

An unfocused but deeply felt plea for better treatment of veterans.

Pub Date: May 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4984-3834-6

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Liberty Hill Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2015

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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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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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