NEW YORK, NEW YORK

HOW THE APARTMENT HOUSE TRANSFORMED THE LIFE OF THE CITY (1869-1929)

Hawes's fine book, her first, employs architectural criticism, economic chronicle, and urban sociology to create a picture of how Manhattan turned from a series of pastures broken by single-family dwellings into a breathtaking erector set of multiple dwellings: a shift to modernity as a reliable indicator of ``the workings of the urban mind.'' Prior to 1869, anyone who didn't have to live communally in a single building certainly never would. Ensconced in their brownstones around Gramercy Park, the social elite believed in a lack of ostentation, in tempered privacies. But that would change. An architect like Richard Morris Hunt would introduce the ``French flat'' to New York as an alternative to the residential hotel—and for decades thereafter, apartment living became the choice of the bohemian, artistic, nonconforming crowd—safely removed from Society by its eccentricity. (The entire West Side—considered before the turn of the century akin to living in Montana—started off as blithely self-regulating as it essentially has remained.) But then the great mansions of Vanderbilt, Tiffany, and Villard went up in Midtown, and suddenly blue-blood New York had to cope with display and grandeur—and this in time broke down the walls: Polite people perhaps could live in something visually assuming, ornamented, lush, maybe even overlush. The family would not fall apart if domiciled above another, similar family; the subway made the far reaches of uptown livable; and the rebuilding of the city in an image of multiples began. Hawes valuably includes a list of the great apartment houses still standing—but more valuably still creates a context for how a city imagines itself in space (inextricable from the American city's special problem of staying classless while enforcing social hierarchies), employing the novels of Edith Wharton and William Dean Howells, and a wealth of forgotten socioarchitectural journalism so bracing it's a shame the craft has fallen into disuse. A wonderful book. (Sixty-six photographs, drawings, and floor plans)

Pub Date: April 20, 1993

ISBN: 0-394-55641-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1993

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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