A potpourri of pronouncements on latter-day America and Europe from a commentator who's at pains to stress: ``I am a historian, not a prophet.'' Commingling entries from a journal kept during trips to and from the Continent in recent years, Hungarian emigrÇ Lukacs (The Duel, 1991; Confessions of an Original Sinner, 1990, etc.) offers provocative perspectives on the West's past as well as present. To begin with, he asserts that the 20th century lasted but 75 years, from 1914 to 1989 (when the USSR imploded). Moreover, he contends that, the cold war notwithstanding, Communism wasn't the dominant political and social phenomenon of the times—rather, the period's major conflicts were defined by nationalism. While conceding that turning points can be elusive, the author concludes the end of the so-called Modern (as opposed to Ancient or Medieval) Age, which began circa 1500, also may be at hand. Among other factors, he attributes the presumptive transition to the destabilizing emergence of populist demands for tribal power. Meanwhile, Lukacs fears, the admixture of standard-setting aristocracy and representative democracy, which helped advance Western civilization, is in eclipse largely because the authority of contemporary states has waned as their bureaucratic governments have waxed, making them vulnerable to the tyranny of manipulated majorities (or determined minorities). Throughout, he takes an arguably racist line in allusions to the threat posed by Asian immigration and in observations on the importance of White Russians as a bulwark against barbarian hordes. A fin de siäcle appreciation that, for all its idiosyncratic analyses, affords much insight.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 1993

ISBN: 0-395-58472-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1992

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



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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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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