This well-written history draws connections to an iconic novel and illuminates the lives of World War II sailors.

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A BIRD IN THE DEEP

THE TRUE STORY OF THE USS PARTRIDGE

A story of poor leadership in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

In this debut nonfiction work, Krouse draws connections between his grandfather’s experience on the USS Partridge and Herman Wouk’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Caine Mutiny, both stories of ineffective, potentially dangerous captains who created dysfunctional environments on their ships. Krouse doesn’t claim that The Caine Mutiny’s Captain Queeg is in any way based on Adnah Caldin, captain of the Partridge, but uses Wouk’s work as a lens to guide his interpretation of the story he pieces together with help from the surviving sailors. The Partridge began life as a World War I minesweeper, and in World War II, it patrolled the Caribbean until it was transferred to Europe, where its tugboat capabilities were put to work in building the offshore infrastructure that supported the D-Day invasion. Krouse’s grandfather and the other sailors found life on the ship more difficult once Caldin took command, and they often ran afoul of his arbitrary, harsh, or nonsensical orders. When Caldin’s erratic behavior culminated in his leaving the bridge during an emergency, another parallel to The Caine Mutiny, he was removed from command while the Partridge’s construction work led it into danger. Although Caldin was effectively the story’s villain, he was not its center, as Krouse learned from his interviews: “Talking nearly 65 years after events, not one crew member could recall Caldin’s name off the top of their head.” The book tells the stories of many of the Partridge’s sailors, presenting well-rounded portraits of ordinary people in a bad situation. Krouse does a good job of maintaining the tension while slowly revealing the Partridge’s fate, and he does so without veering into melodrama. Wouk’s Navy experience and numerous excerpts from The Caine Mutiny provide a valuable context and a narrative anchor to a story filled with detailed history and persuasive analysis of how one leader failed his men.

This well-written history draws connections to an iconic novel and illuminates the lives of World War II sailors.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-62613-075-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: ATBOSH Media Ltd.

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2019

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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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