Gilbert provides a necessary, historically rich account of the Polish Jewish resistance via the perspectives of four women.
The author interviewed four Jewish women who survived the Holocaust: Manya Feldman, Faye Schulman, Lola Lieber, and Miriam Brysk. Each went on to live long lives abroad with various careers—a Hebrew School teacher, photographer, research scientist, and artist. In her debut nonfiction work, which borrows its title from a biblical phrase (“A woman of valor is robed in strength and dignity and faces the future with grace”), Gilbert immerses readers in the lives of her interviewees; photographs and helpful notes that provide historical background are interspersed throughout. Gilbert also “interviewed several Polish Gentile women who had been active in the Resistance” who asked that their stories not be included in the text. Each narrative is remarkable in its own right, extensively limning the horrors of World War II. In Manya Feldman’s chapter, for example, she tells Gilbert, “I would learn much later that my mother and precious little sisters were among the fifteen-thousand innocent Jews that were rounded up and sent to Sarny to be ‘liquidated’ during that hideous week in August 1942.” Faye Schulman describes her experiences developing horrific photos for the Nazis (“Before my eyes, appearing like phantoms on the photo paper, I again saw the heinous deaths of my neighbors, my friends…and my own precious family”); Lola Lieber recounts pretending to be Catholic and mimicking "Gentile mannerisms, and speech patterns." The chapter about Lieber includes an anecdote with Adolf Eichmann (“I was struck by how absolutely normal he looked”). Taken together, these recollections are intensely personal and thoughtfully compiled—richly descriptive of the women’s day-to-day experiences during the war while also providing historical context. Miriam Brysk’s story best epitomizes the text’s matter-of-fact style, as when she remembers her family’s arrival at a shared apartment in the town of Lublin: “There was very little furniture, but we felt safe and happy to be in our own apartment. We were especially happy to be able to celebrate our first Passover in six years.”
Well-researched and powerful; challenges readers to consider the heroism and struggles of women’s resistance.
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").
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)