AS LONG AS SARAJEVO EXISTS

The gripping and poignant account of the survival of Sarajevo's daily newspaper and the abiding ideal of peaceful coexistence that it symbolizes. For over four years, working against material, financial, and personal obstacles (the paper was eventually produced out of the building's bomb shelter), the multiethnic staff of Oslobodjenje kept their paper going. But Kurspahi, its editor in chief during the war, does more than just narrate their story. He places his paper's struggle in the broader context of events in the former Yugoslavia. This was not a civil war, he argues, but one against civilians and their culture, a war against cosmopolitanism. An early chapter covers the initial phase of the paper's ``liberation,'' which saw its transformation from a Communist- controlled daily to one characterized by principles of liberalism and pluralism, and a commitment to peaceful coexistence. For the first time, its staff freely elected editors and selected the stories they would cover, including regular reports on events in other republics. At a time of poor communication and increasing political control, Kurspahi's paper provided perhaps the last true reflection of current events. Kurspahi captures how Sarajevo blossomed, becoming ``an arena for popular self-expression,'' an antidote to the growing chauvinism and intolerance in other republics. In the chapter on the paper in wartime, Kurspahi deftly interweaves the personal and professional, creating a clear parallel between the enormous sacrifices made by Oslobodjenje's staff to keep the paper going and the heroic efforts of Bosnia's citizens to defend their homes, neighbors, and ideals. In the process, he presents the dramatic and often tragic struggles of colleagues, friends, strangers, and public figures. The war may be over and the country divided, but, Kurspahi asserts, a unified Bosnia and its culture will survive as long as the spirit of Oslobodjenje ``defends her essence and keeps faith with memory.''

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-9630587-7-0

Page Count: 350

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1997

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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