Klein changed the way rock does business. In this balanced, fascinating, and well-written biography, Goodman gives him...

ALLEN KLEIN

THE MAN WHO BAILED OUT THE BEATLES, MADE THE STONES, AND TRANSFORMED ROCK & ROLL

The story of a manager more often vilified than any other in the history of rock.

At his peak, Allen Klein (1931-2009) managed both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but both relationships led to legal action and acrimony, with Klein largely depicted as unconscionably rapacious even by the dubious ethical standards of the music business. Since former Rolling Stone editor Goodman has previously explored the seamier side of rock’s underbelly (most notably in The Mansion on the Hill, 1997), readers might expect him to pile more dirt on the legacy of his late subject. Instead, he humanizes Klein with a nuanced and multidimensional account of how a boy raised in an orphanage looked for validation by courting artists who had been cheated by their record companies and promising to rectify their financial situations. The author benefits from access to previously unavailable material, provided by Klein’s son without editorial stipulations. “When you hired Klein, you hired a pistolero,” writes Goodman. “He’d run the rustlers and varmints out of Dodge, but then you’d have to figure out how to live with a mercenary in the sheriff’s office.” The author shows how Klein earned the trust of Sam Cooke and how he came to be seen by both John Lennon and Keith Richards as a kindred spirit while arousing the enmity of Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. (Goodman also acknowledges that Klein engaged in a conflict of interest in buying the rights to the Stones music while he was managing them and shifting sides on the “My Sweet Lord” copyright suit.) Klein loved a battle, and he would engage in litigation long after it was to his benefit to settle. But Goodman builds a convincing case that Klein fought the good fight for his artists and that depicting a man in his business as greedy is akin to calling a lion a carnivore.

Klein changed the way rock does business. In this balanced, fascinating, and well-written biography, Goodman gives him credit where it’s due.

Pub Date: June 23, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-547-89686-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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