Despite tangential wanderings, this account offers an important historical perspective on two continuing struggles.



In this debut memoir, a business executive and newspaper columnist recounts her path from a Mississippi farm to high-level positions in the Midwest, contending with racism and gender discrimination.

A black child of the 1950s and ’60s, born and raised on a family-owned farm in the heart of the segregated South, Ellis always knew she was not cut out for rural life. In 1964, at the age of 14, the author found her inspiration and direction from the broadcasts of Eric Sevareid, who was a regular commentator on Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News. “Someday, I am going to do what Sevareid does,” she told her mother. Years later, while completing her course work for a doctorate in communication arts, she was introduced to the writings of Walter Lippmann: “Eric Sevareid lit the flame within me to become a political columnist. Walter Lippmann set it ablaze.” Lippmann became the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation. Throughout most of her professional career in business and government, she continued to be a columnist for Milwaukee and Kansas City newspapers and blogs. Ellis married young, while still in college. The union produced two sons, but, according to the author, it soon became abusive and lasted only a few years. Several relationships followed, one of them also abusive. But more than 11 years after her divorce, she tied the knot with a man named Frank, to whom she is still happily married. In her book, enhanced by family photos, Ellis sets her personal battles within the context of the civil rights and feminist movements, both of which helped fuel her determination. She recounts stories of sexual harassment that are especially relevant in today’s #MeToo environment. And the early sections offer striking portraits of segregation, as she recounts cross burnings in front of her house and the murder of a friend’s father who was involved in voter registration. But her academic training sometimes gets in the way of a compelling narrative. A long section detailing the works and philosophies of Lippmann is a distraction from the engrossing personal tale and has the feel of a dissertation presentation.

Despite tangential wanderings, this account offers an important historical perspective on two continuing struggles.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64114-753-8

Page Count: 424

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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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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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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