Even for those who have studied Said for years, this will provide a welcome reminder of his unique talent for distillation...


A chronological annotated sampling of key works from one of the most articulate, insightful, and controversial minds of our time.

Said (The End of the Peace Process, p. 365, etc.) is best known for his writings on Palestine. This collection, compiled by Bayoumi and Rubin (two of his students), includes selected excerpts from both his well-known and his more obscure texts. For scholars it is a reminder of the breadth and diversity of Said’s works, while for the uninitiated it will stand as a timely introduction to the thorny questions underlying politics and conflict in the modern Middle East. Of critical importance to students of history, literature, anthropology, and politics (to name but a few), Said’s passionate and studied investigation of subjects ranging from Joseph Conrad, Yeats, and Jane Austen to Zionism, the Middle East peace process, and decolonization are united in theme by their common consideration of the nature of life in exile. The author’s constant return to his own experience as a Palestinian exile speaks to one of his greatest contributions to the field of cultural studies: the idea that all knowledge is produced by real people informed by their surroundings. It is to this end that the format of the collection is particularly effective, for it provides a sense of the author’s personal and political context through the ordered assemblage of works chronicling his development as a writer, and aided in no small part by Bayoumi and Rubin’s commentary on the climate in which each piece was written and the manner in which each was received.

Even for those who have studied Said for years, this will provide a welcome reminder of his unique talent for distillation and clarity—and of his courage in the quest for truth, empathy, and justice.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2000

ISBN: 0-375-70936-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2000

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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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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