An insightful book that should be of interest to anyone who eats food, animal or not.

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CHICKENIZING FARMS AND FOOD

HOW INDUSTRIAL MEAT PRODUCTION ENDANGERS WORKERS, ANIMALS, AND CONSUMERS

Unsentimental study of the dangers in how meat is produced and distributed around the world, particularly in the United States.

Silbergeld (Public Health/Johns Hopkins Univ.) may take a detached, academic tone toward her subject, but she has immersed herself deeply in the world of factory farms. Her reports from the “Broiler Belt” of Delmarva—the Chesapeake Bay intersection of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, where a substantial portion of the nation’s chickens are raised—paint a credible picture of a system that has spun out of control. The author steadfastly sticks to a middle path that is likely to displease both those who long to return to an earlier, pastoral model of agriculture and those who would like to see as little government regulation of farming as possible. Silbergeld argues that, whether we like it or not, agriculture has become an industry and ought to be treated as such, which means much more government oversight than is currently in place. As the author points out, the rapid increase in “chickenization”—a term coined by the United States Department of Agriculture “to describe the global diffusion of industrial methods of food animal production”—has caused a number of problems, including worker safety issues and the disposal of vast quantities of concentrated waste. Of particular concern, she feels, is the amount of antimicrobials fed to chickens and other poultry and passed along to the humans who eat them, leading to the creation of drug-resistant bacteria. She carefully unravels the history of adding antimicrobials to feed and makes a convincing case that they do little to prevent infection—cleaning the poultry houses is far more effective—and that they are “risking the loss of the crown jewel of modern medicine, the ability to prevent and cure deadly infections with antimicrobial drugs.”

An insightful book that should be of interest to anyone who eats food, animal or not.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4214-2030-1

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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