A stirring legal drama made more thrilling by sharp, journalistic prose.



The harrowing account of one man’s persecution by a justice system indifferent to law and morality.

Debut author Woltz begins this memoir of judicial tyranny somewhat benignly: His financial firm, fulfilling a legal obligation, filed a suspicious activity report with the Central Bank of the Bahamas regarding a trust account an American attorney had opened there. He all but forgot the incident until, two years later, he was contacted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI looking to discuss the matter. He quickly obliged but was taken into custody on his way to the scheduled meeting in Charlotte; his terrified wife was taken into custody, too. What ensued was a long train of prosecutorial misconduct that will rattle readers’ complacent confidence in the U.S. judicial system. Woltz describes a “bizarre Kafkaesque world” in which both he and his wife were systematically stripped of their legal rights. They were denied the power to choose their own attorney, and the one they were saddled with worked in collusion with the prosecutors. In violation of their Sixth Amendment rights, they were arraigned in one judicial district and sentenced in another. They were charged with a litany of trumped-up accusations so absurd that the Middle District Office of the U.S. attorney called it a “sham prosecution.” Woltz and his wife were also subject to degrading treatment, intimidation and outright physical abuse, all in order to compel them to provide false testimony against the federal government’s real quarry. Woltz deftly catalogs his disillusionment: “More or less everything I believed about our judicial system was being challenged through personal experience. I was locked in a filthy mad house, though innocent, un-convicted, and pleading not guilty to the charges.” Woltz served 87 months in federal prison; when released, he saw both his financial assets and marriage disappear. A foreword written by a former magistrate judge provides legal context helpful to understanding the full extent of Woltz’s travails.

A stirring legal drama made more thrilling by sharp, journalistic prose. 

Pub Date: July 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-615-83599-0

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Woltz Media

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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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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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

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