In this long and challenging book Edmund Wilson presents a critical analysis of the works of some 30 men and women, novelists, generals, poets; politicans, diarists, who saw the Civil War at first hand and who wrote of what they saw. "The period of the Civil War", Wilson says in his introduction, "was not one in which belles lettres flourished, but it did produce a remarkable literature .... of speeches, pamphlets, private letters and diaries, personal memoirs and journalistic reports." From this literature, beginning with Harriet Beecher Stowe and ending with Justice Holmes, he has culled fascinating examples, with them presenting excellent pocket biographies of their authors. Great men — and lesser ones — are seen through their own works and the eyes of men who knew them: Lincoln and Lee; Sherman and Mosby; the Confederate Richard Taylor, to whom Stonewall Jackson was hero; Grant, an amazing man, whose memoirs "may well rank as the most remarkable work of its kind since the Commentaries of Julius Caesar" — and many others. Women are represented by a fine chapter on Harriet Beecher Stowe, and by excerpts from the diaries of the mulatto teacher, Charlotte Forten; and three Confederate ladies, staunch Secessionists who loathed slavery: Kate Stone, Sarah Morgan, and the incomparable Mrs. Mary Chesnut. No book for hurried reading, this brilliant study will appeal to discerning readers both North and South; it belongs in public and university libraries, and in all comprehensive collections of American literary criticism.

Pub Date: April 26, 1962

ISBN: 0393312569

Page Count: 852

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1962

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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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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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