TED TURNER

CABLE TELEVISION TYCOON

This superficial biography has been pasted together mostly from magazine articles, and—lacking vigor and immediacy—it shows. The facts of Turner’s childhood are sketched out, including his education at boarding and military schools, and, rather baldly, his father’s child-rearing philosophy: “Ed wanted Ted to be obedient, but insecure, so he would grow up to be ambitious and work for everything he received.” When his father killed himself, Turner took over his billboard business and began creating an empire. His sometimes riotous behavior, romantic liaisons, and mental-health treatment are covered here, along with his roller-coaster career, and Byman provides a good overall look at the risk involved and the ingenuity displayed as Turner bought radio stations and a baseball team, created CNN, and attempted to purchase CBS, among many other entrepreneurial moves. His social evolution is related in a detached manner, often with a minimum of useful context, e.g., “He put up warning signs from the Ku Klux Klan on the doors of the few black students in the dorm. His intention was to be funny. But . . . other students did not share his sense of humor.” A list of Time-Warner’s holdings is an odd addition to the backmatter. (b&w photos, chronology, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: April 2, 1998

ISBN: 1-883846-25-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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JAM!

THE STORY OF JAZZ MUSIC

A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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1000 MAKERS OF THE MILLENNIUM

With an emphasis on Western “makers” of the millennium, and, perhaps inevitably, deep coverage of the last 200 years and fleeting coverage of the first few centuries, this volume offers brief biographical sketches of 1,000 people who had an impact on the last 1,000 years. Profusely illustrated and printed on heavy glossy stock, this is a coffee table book for children, meant to be dipped into rather than read from start to finish. Organized chronologically, with a chapter for each century, the parade of people is given context through a timeline of major events, with those of particular importance discussed in special boxes. As with any effort of this kind, there are surprising omissions (the publisher is creating a website for readers’ own suggestions) and inclusions, a Western predominance that grows more pronounced in the later centuries, and an emphasis on sports and celebrity that finishes off the last few decades. The selection can seem highly subjective and provocatively arbitrary, e.g., the US presidents from Nixon back to Teddy Roosevelt are all covered, but none after Nixon. Still, there is a clear effort to include a wide variety of countries and cultures, and this ambitious effort will be the starting point for many historical journeys. (chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4709-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999

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