An utterly credible picture of what a big-city cop’s life is really like and of how being a cop affects thinking, beliefs,...

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ARMED AND DANGEROUS

MEMOIRS OF A CHICAGO COP

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.

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-312-87035-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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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

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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