An unstuffy, stylistically refreshing Shakespeare study.


An erudite, persuasive debut study that makes a valuable contribution to the longtime debate over who authored William Shakespeare’s plays.

Goldstein makes it clear from the opening that he is an Oxfordian—not, as he points out, “a graduate of Oxford University” but rather “an independent scholar who holds that Shakespeare was written by Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford (1550-1604).” The author has significant experience in his field, as he conducted more than 25 years of research; established a peer-reviewed journal, The Elizabethan Review; and co-edited Brief Chronicles, a literary journal with a focus on authorship studies. This book collects essays and reviews that he published in British and American literary journals. At the beginning, he provides a short, precise biography of de Vere and indicates why he and other Oxfordians believe that he’s a good fit as the possible author of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. Goldstein takes time to brief those who may be unfamiliar with this scholarly debate, making it accessible to relative newcomers. That’s not to say that his work is oversimplified, however; on the contrary, Goldstein provides detailed literary exegesis regarding the Shakespeare plays’ allegorical language and the presence and significance of the Essex dialect in them (de Vere was born in Essex). The intricacies of his argument are engaging, right down to the pronunciation of “Shylock” in The Merchant of Venice: “If Shakespeare was born and raised in the county of Essex, he would have pronounced the name as Shillock.” Although Goldstein is aware that many people vehemently defend their own views on the authorship of Shakespeare’s works, his own approach is admirable in that it’s quietly and intelligently assertive. He doesn’t attempt to bludgeon readers with his arguments; rather, he accumulates evidence and then modestly allows readers to decide for themselves. His study would have benefited from a strong concluding statement, but its open-endedness could be interpreted as a call to arms, as he actively requests readers to contact him and contribute to the debate.

An unstuffy, stylistically refreshing Shakespeare study. 

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-3-933077-47-9

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Verlag Laugwitz

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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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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