HELL'S FOUNDATIONS

A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF BURY IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN

Another splendid historical study by Moorhouse (On the Other Side, 1991; Imperial City, 1988, etc.), who here details the effects of the disastrous 1915 Gallipoli campaign on Bury, Lancashire, an English mill town that was the headquarters of a regiment heavily involved in the fighting. The author, grandson of one of the participants, was born and raised in Bury—a fact that adds emotional resonance and verisimilitude to his narrative. Writing with his usual sensitivity and smoothness, Moorhouse, in a series of heartbreaking and frequently infuriating vignettes, reports on the events of the botched and bloody Anatolian landing and the subsequent carnage. As impressive as his WW I passages are, though, it is when Moorhouse focuses on postwar developments that he reveals the unique vision that has distinguished his earlier books. In recounting the tragic legacy of the war, he assembles a vast array of dramatis personae—pensioners, priests, and profiteers; unfaithful wives, workers, and wastrels; suicides and swindlers—and tells their stories in powerful images and vibrant detail. And Moorhouse handles the larger issues with equal perceptiveness. He discusses, for example, the admiration English enlisted men felt for the vitality and openness of the Anzac (Australian and New Zealand) troops during the campaign, and counters this by noting the scorn with which the colonials viewed the ``Tommies,'' whom they considered weak both in physique and spirit. A short but strong chapter describes the life and times of Edward George Villiers Stanley, 17th Earl of Derby, a holdover from the Edwardian era who virtually owned the town. This Colonel Blimp- like figure's platitudes and pretensions are captured with a fine straight-faced irony. An unusual and engrossing take on a fairly familiar bit of British history, rendered with freshness and literary polish.

Pub Date: April 17, 1992

ISBN: 0-8050-1768-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more