Jacobs’ nuts-and-bolts mechanics guide covers what a layperson or newbie mechanic would need to get a foothold in the field.
Though little attempt is made to go into any particular depth, the book’s scattershot compilation of everything from parts to pumps will well serve anyone entering the world of mechanics for the first time. The initial chapter on basic mechanical theory addresses measures and motion, ending with the devices that control and power many of today’s machines. Chapter 2, “The Six Machines,” delves into levers, gears, screws and the concept of mechanical advantage, and in “Mechanical Components,” Jacobs goes intocams, solenoids, rollers, clutches, chains and a rudimentary description of the four-stroke gasoline engine. The next chapter, aptly named “Tools,” covers a wide range of basic hand tools, from hammers to pliers, including a few common power tools. The final chapter, “Mounting and Fastening Components,” introduces everything from bolts to bearings, with a smattering of electrical connections and a brief introduction to levers and linkages. Every chapter is rife with visuals to help identify the tools, parts, devices and concepts being presented. In most cases, the thumbnail illustrations are enough to get the author’s point across, and the photos adequately portray the subject matter. Since the book is so light on text, readers can easily go cover to cover in a very short time, grasping basic mechanical concepts without getting overly technical. However, the book suffers from a few drawbacks that could be easily remedied. In some cases, there’s a needless repetition of illustrations and photos, as when showing screw slot types. In other instances, some illustrations—such as those covering clutches, cams and levers—are simply too rudimentary to convey the author’s intention. The page layouts could be improved through the use of a professional designer: With an arbitrary mix of illustration and photography (black and white and color), there seems to be little consistency from page to page in terms of design.
An informative first book for novices that covers a wide range of basic mechanics, tools and measures.
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)