THE SECRET WAR AGAINST THE JEWS

HOW WESTERN ESPIONAGE BETRAYED THE JEWISH PEOPLE

An alternative, conspiratorial retelling of major events of the last 75 years, from the authors of Unholy Trinity (1992). Former Justice Department Nazi-hunter Loftus and Australian journalist Aarons would have us believe that much of recent Western history has had as its common theme ``Get the Jews.'' However, they are far more convincing in arguing that the underlying motivations for most of the evil plots they describe were fanatical anti- communism and/or greed; Jews—mostly pre-1948 Zionists and post- 1948 Israelis—sometimes got in the way. Thus wealthy Americans invested in prewar Nazi Germany because there was money to be made, and Nazis were welcomed to postwar America as fighters against communism; the State Department and American boardrooms were filled with Arabists who had no sympathy for a Jewish state not because it was filled with Jews, but because it was empty of oil. Loftus and Aarons undermine their work by its enormous scope, which makes it virtually impossible to distinguish one chess-gambit conspiracy from another. Also, the sources for their most explosive revelations are ``confidential interviews'' with unnamed veterans of an alphabet soup of espionage agencies: Little hard evidence is presented. Still, like all good conspiracy books, this one offers plausible and intriguing explanations for gray areas of history. These range from how American companies wrested control of Saudi Arabia's oil fields from Great Britain in the 1920s and '30s to the way countries were convinced (blackmailed, say the authors, in a convoluted plot involving Nelson Rockefeller, who was allegedly selling oil to the Nazis all through WW II) to support the creation of Israel in 1948. The book is also enlivened by a rich rogues' gallery, including double (or maybe triple) agents Jack and Kim Philby; and John Foster and Allen Dulles, accused of subverting American foreign policy to their insatiable greed. A conspiracy book offering tasty morsels if one reads with a grain of salt and disregards its sensationalized and misleading title. (16 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-312-09535-X

Page Count: 640

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994

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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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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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