All the ugliness, danger, and misery of life as a big-city cop, told with perception, humor, and apparently without fear of reprisals by a 16-year veteran on the Chicago police force.
Gallo joined up in 1982 because she needed a secure job to support her two children. Already a trained psychologist, she thought she’d be working as a therapist in the department’s counseling center. She was wrong. After six months at the police academy, where brutality and humiliation were freely employed as teaching techniques and the most important law to be learned was “Cover Your Ass,” and after six more months as a recruit (during which time she killed a man in a shootout), she was assigned to a beat. It was a tough West Side district replete with rundown housing projects, gangs, drug dealers, whores, and hustlers. Appalling domestic violence, heinous child and animal abuse, and encounters with lots of dead bodies and body parts were part of the daily routine in this savage world. Gallo also served in a plainclothes unit, where for a time the job required her to pose as a prostitute. Frank about the social failings of the citizens she was serving, the gutsy author is similarly forthright in describing the cops she worked with and for; along with the decent ones were cowards, liars, thieves, drug users, and gang members. She has much to say about attitudes toward and treatment of female cops, by both the public and policemen, and it’s not pretty. Eventually she was teamed with a woman she respected and admired, but gunshot wounds forced her partner into early retirement. Gallo’s own career on the force ended in 1998 when she too was badly injured.
An utterly credible picture of what a big-city cop’s life is really like and of how being a cop affects thinking, beliefs, and behavior.
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)