Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit? As the joke goes, anywhere he wants—which, judging by animal-rights activist Guillermo's morally inflamed report, won't include labs like Maryland's Institute for Behavorial Research (IBR), the primate research center whose abuse of its monkeys kicked off the animal- rights movement in the US. In 1991, Guillermo relates, 22-year-old Alex Pacheco— cofounder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)- -took a job at IBR as part of his undercover investigation into animal-research facilities. What he found at the lab—which was researching sensation and motor function in 17 intentionally maimed macaque monkeys—appalled him: ``The stench was unbelievable,'' writes Guillermo. ``Oozing untreated wounds covered the limbs and torsos...Filth encrusted the wire walls and floors of the cages....'' Pacheco proceeded to gather photographic and paper evidence that he finally presented to the state attorney's office and local county cops, who raided IBR and removed the monkeys. Days later, animal-cruelty charges—the first ever brought against an animal experimenter—were lodged against IBR's director, who eventually was found guilty on one count. That verdict, however, and indeed PETA's struggle with IBR, were subsumed in a larger battle as the National Institutes of Health, which funded IBR and viewed PETA as a threat to free scientific inquiry, threw its considerable weight against the animal-rights group. Guillermo, PETA's ``lifestyles director,'' makes no bones about her sympathies (``NIH was willing to sell out the animals in order to remain at the top of the animal experimentation heap''), but she does an orderly if plodding job of chronicling the PETA-NIH battle, which came to involve national media, Congressmen, and celebrities, and which goes on today. A one-sided, rather stiff telling of a tale that—as a paradigm of grass-roots activism—has needed to be told: Now, if only a Roger Caras or a Cleveland Amory would tell it again, with style. (Photographs—not seen)
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").
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)