In this debut memoir, a writer recounts her life as an underground activist in the 1960s and after.
Linda J. Quint grew up comfortably in 1950s Los Angeles, but by 1965 the Berkeley sophomore had become a budding radical. “My generation was getting down, getting high, getting busy with confronting this country’s long-standing wrongs, like racial segregation and the shameful war in Vietnam,” she remembers. As if she hadn’t outraged her parents enough, Quint revealed she had fallen in love with a girl, causing her father to cut her off financially. Following graduation, she disappeared into Chicago’s activist left. After she helped destroy 50,000 selective service records, she went on the run. Margaret Wilzbach—that was the name on the new ID in her pocket—slept in hideouts in cities like Detroit and Birmingham, Alabama, feeling increasingly disillusioned with “the Revolution.” Later, as Judith Jablonski, she found sanctuary in Atlanta—and a lover. Eventually becoming Alexa Emily Freeman, she made it all the way to San Francisco, where the work of liberation was just beginning. Under various identities, in multiple cities and decades, the author found herself a soldier for the cause of freedom—a cause that itself wore many guises. Collectively, these threads tell a story that gets right to the heart of the generation that came of age in the ’60s. Freeman writes with a sincerity of purpose, unspooling a narrative that is part travelogue, part “notes from the underground,” and part coming-of-age tale. “No one in my life has real names anymore,” she realized at one point. “With every mile, my former life disappears. I’m on the run, in a Mercury Marquis, traveling down to a safe house in the deep south. It’s impossible to turn back now. I close my eyes, remembering who I was.” The author never separates herself from her politics, but readers easily can: The figure who emerges is one of youthful rebellion played out to its furthest logical extent. This work is both a compelling profile of a subculture and a revealing portrait of someone who gave everything to shape it—and, perhaps unintentionally, was shaped by it in return.
A captivating and often affecting account of an activist outside the law.
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").
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)