AT THE HEART OF A TIGER

CLEMENCEAU AND HIS WORLD 1841-1929

Idiosyncratic but vivid account of the times—and, less successfully, the life—of the great WW I French leader Georges Clemenceau (1841-1929). Dallas (The Imperfect Peasant Economy, 1982—not reviewed) believes that, of all the recent major war leaders, Clemenceau, while one of the most unusual, remains the least known to English- language readers. Regarded as an extreme leftist, Clemenceau was 65 before he first gained national office (as minister of the interior), though he'd been in the French Parliament for more than 30 years, where he was famed as a destroyer of ministries—and of men—rather than as a creative figure. During these years, he fought his share of the duels that were then still a feature of French political life. (On one celebrated occasion, one of his opponents told Parliament that there were ``three things about him that you dread: his sword, his pistol, his tongue.'') As a journalist, Clemenceau's output was prodigious and often remarkably prescient: His views on colonialism, race, and unions were far ahead of his times. His first tenure as PM lasted three years, one of the longest tenures in the Third Republic. But his fame rests on his period in office during the last year of the war, as the French, seemingly having exhausted all other alternatives, were forced to rely on his genius. Given his high profile, it's curious how little sense we have of what sort of man Clemenceau was. Dallas calls him ``the most distant, the most elusive, the most secret of men,'' and regrettably does little to penetrate the secret—making almost no reference, for instance, to Clemenceau's private affairs, which were as elusive as the rest of his life: He married an American woman and seems to have spent very little time with her, though it was some years before they divorced. Clemenceau remains an enigma here but his era comes alive through Dallas's high-flown but lively approach. (Twenty-four pages of b&w illustrations)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-7867-0000-9

Page Count: 640

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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