An informative first book for novices that covers a wide range of basic mechanics, tools and measures.

Start With Mechanics - Color


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 into cams, 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.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1479148677

Page Count: 96

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2013

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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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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