A well-organized, deeply researched work that ably digests the Balkan war, the criminals, the criminal court, and its legacy.

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THE BUTCHER'S TRAIL

THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE BALKAN MANHUNT FOR EUROPE'S MOST WANTED WAR CRIMINALS

A bracing history of the hunt for Balkan war criminals and the seminal establishment of the Hague Tribunal in 1993.

Diplomatic editor for the Guardian, English journalist Borger covered the conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s for both the Guardian and the BBC. In his debut, he offers the thrilling account of the long-running international search for the masterminds of “ethnic cleaning” during these wars. With the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991 into rival states, ethnic bloodshed erupted, especially in Serbia, led by ruthless leader Slobodan Miloševic, who eventually became the “first sitting head of state ever to be charged with war crimes in an international court.” Though horrified by the bloodshed in Bosnia, the United States under new President Bill Clinton was loath to send in troops, leaving the United National Security Council to establish the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, an experiment in justice with an eye to the postwar Nuremberg Trials. Yet the court had little authority to track down and prosecute criminals like Miloševic, his puppet Goran Hadžic, Croatian counterpart Franjo Tudjman, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic, and many others. In his vivid, page-turning account, Borger follows not only the actual hunt for the criminals, which took years and as many false starts as successes by a team of international special forces, but also the astonishing legal history that the ICTY forged in bucking a complacent international mindset. The author chronicles the tireless work of keen advocates of the ICTY, such as U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and the intrepid “tracking team” led by chief prosecutors Louise Arbour and Carla Del Ponte. Borger impressively consolidates this important story, and he also includes a useful chronology of “arrests and transfers to the ICTY in the Hague.”

A well-organized, deeply researched work that ably digests the Balkan war, the criminals, the criminal court, and its legacy.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59051-605-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Other Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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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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