A persuasive argument that the ``Revolution of 1989'' that brought freedom to Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was, at bottom, a ``revolution of the spirit.'' According to Weigel (president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.), customary explanations for the collapse of the Iron Curtain fall short. Gorbachev was no more than a reform Communist who never abandoned his faith in Marxist-Leninism. Nor do economic, political, or historical forces explain the cataclysm. The key player, says Weigel—echoing Lech Walesa's analysis—was Pope John Paul II; the fall of Communism really began in June 1979, during the first papal visit to Poland (``a moral, even spiritual earthquake''); moreover, the `89 revolution was part of what Weigel calls ``the final revolution'': the turning of humans to ``the good, to the truly human—and, ultimately, to God.'' Detailing the moral degradation of Communism, Weigel argues that it is, at bottom, a sort of monstrous, upside-down religion—and that, as such, its main enemy has always been the Church. The disagreement, Weigel suggests as he traces the history of Church/Communist antagonism, is as basic as can be: While Marxist-Leninism sees people as pawns of history, Christianity proclaims the absolute dignity of the individual. During the earlier years of John Paul II's pontificate, the Church promoted its view energetically. The effort bore fruit in 1989, says Wiegel, when the revolutionary tradition of Jefferson and Madison triumphed over that of Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, restoring ``the natural rhythms of history and society.'' And what of the future? Drawing from the writings of John Paul II and Vaclav Havel, Weigel maintains that society henceforth must be based on metaphysical truths about ``the transcendent destiny of human life.'' God is on our side, updated. And maybe this time God is; Weigel, at least, is convinced, stating that ``the Lord of history- -the Lord of the final revolution, if you will—is still capable of surprises.''

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-19-507160-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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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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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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