In 1986, Buruma (Behind the Mask, 1984) visited Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. His purpose: to examine the extent to which Western-style modernization has influenced Eastern values. His conclusion: These countries are engaged in "an endless search for meaning and national identity" with no clear consensus on a solution. Curiously, Buruma starts in Burma, the one country that has kept Westernization at bay, where Rangoon molders away surrounded by "vast suburbs of brown huts on stilts in slimy water." The West intrudes only in the black market, where TV sets, wristwatches, even pages of old American magazines are snapped up. And so it goes: Thailand is a "sexual supermarket"—and also a land where the king and fundamentalist Buddhists have fostered the resurrection of a serene village culture; Malaysia looks to Islam for cohesion, while its women prance about in miniskirts and high heels; primarily Chinese Singapore comes across as a "perfect suburban paradise," but its officials dither that it will be swamped by Malays and condemn same-sex disco dancing as inimical to procreation; South Korea celebrates its "5000-year-old" civilization with folk festivals in baseball stadiums. Fascinatingly detailed, but confusingly organized and already partially outdated—the downfall of Marcos and the 1988 Burma riots have superseded the text.

Pub Date: June 1, 1989

ISBN: 0753810891

Page Count: 267

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1989

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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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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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