TEN DAYS TO DESTINY

THE SECRET STORY OF THE HESS PEACE INITIATIVE AND BRITISH EFFORTS TO STRIKE A DEAL WITH HITLER

A highly speculative historical argument from Costello (Virtue Under Fire, 1986, etc.): that the flight of Hitler's aide Rudolf Hess to Britain in May 1941 was not the isolated act of a madman, but the result of a year of secret maneuvering between the Nazi regime and appeasement-minded members of Churchill's cabinet. In the wake of the fall of France in May 1940, Costello argues, Britain's situation appeared so bleak that certain members of the coalition War Cabinet—conspicuously, Halifax, the foreign secretary—favored (and initiated) efforts to reach an accommodation with Hitler that would not threaten British independence. Churchill was engaged in a battle with these politicians as bitter in its way as the war with Germany, Costello maintains. He says (and many historians agree) that Hitler actually favored such a negotiated peace in order to give himself a free hand in the East. Costello argues (again, unexceptionably) that many members of the British political establishment and aristocracy sympathized with Hitler's fascist and anti-Semitic philosophy. However, Costello fails to make the connection convincingly between these well-documented facts and his central thesis—that Hess made his 1941 flight bearing an authoritative offer of peace from Hitler, and that the Hess flight was actually a last-minute attempt to reach a negotiated peace with Britain on the eve of Hitler's crusade against Bolshevism. Costello's evidence for this is slender and amounts to a highly conjectural circumstantial case. Provocative but unconvincing.

Pub Date: July 15, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-08662-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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