Both sophisticated and rowdy, Mindermann reminds us that the cops and FBI often wore white hats during their darker days in...

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Mindermann’s personal story as a San Francisco police officer who became an FBI special agent in Washington, D.C., during the Nixon administration.

Mindermann worked as an FBI agent on Watergate and witnessed the shadowy intrigue that episode trailed in its wake, including the FBI occupation of the White House—Secret Service turf—and the “swirling, ethically confusing” dance of Washington’s subculture of undercover operations. By the end of this particular tale—with its on-the-spot anecdotes, finding and following the money trail, and profiles of major characters, including acting Director L. Patrick Gray and Mark Felt (Mr. Deep Throat)—few will contest Mindermann’s suggestion that “Watergate was an FBI story,” with all due respect to theWashington Post. Following Mindermann, as he details the tarp thrown over the break-in, for all its holes and gaps, highlights the collective smarts of the agency. The action switches to Mindermann’s years growing up in San Francisco, nicely documenting why he is one tough character, and joining the San Francisco Police Department, with a fine array of fleet stories involving bar fights, police corruption, drunks and druggies, and a terrifying story of a near lynching: “That evening I’d come face-to-face with the potential for human barbarity.” Mindermann has a taste for Sergeant Friday stylization—“I targeted the most hardened, felony prone hoodlums, whose rap sheets vividly revealed a criminal panorama,” “a foreboding chill swept over me”—but it works well here, for Mindermann spent most of his life in the company of murderous bottom feeders, and the chronicles of their takedowns benefit from his Technicolor delivery. After joining the FBI, the author was not only involved with plenty of high-profile operations, such as the John DeLorean sting, but he notes that he was a pioneer on the poison of stress in police work and helped developed criminal profiling (as a refined police tool rather than excuse for bigotry).

Both sophisticated and rowdy, Mindermann reminds us that the cops and FBI often wore white hats during their darker days in the 1960s and ’70s.

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615941486

Page Count: 234

Publisher: Ames Alley Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2014

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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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