The former enfant terrible of British cinema, now in his 60s, bares all, pretty much. Russell takes his life episodically, hopping about with flashbacks and flashforwards in no particular chronology. In print, he is a charming, sometimes waspish storyteller with axes to grind only against his American distributors who have taken his pictures and lopped off whole reels (e.g., The Boy Friend). Raised in the working-class, he introduces us to his mother and father as dad prepares senile mom for her last days in a nursing home. He pieces together his days in the RAF and the Merchant Marine and five years as a ballet student and dancer. Russell early fell in love with photography, and his amateur films earned him entrance into TV, where he made exciting shows about composers. That these shows were often viewed as pictorially cuckoo travesties in no way damped his spirits: he didn't see them that way. And he had access to bottled spirits anyway, ever breakfasting on a half-bottle of champagne to get the morning charged up, with an iced bucket of bubbly at his side throughout the day's shooting. Through Russell's eyes, his work seems a lot less appalling than it is famed to be—a fame reinforced by the posing Nazis in Mahler, the TV set that erupts with chocolate sauce and buries Ann-Margaret in Tommy, the shrinkage of Liszt to rock-'n'-roll pop-star satyr in Lisztomania (a degradation Russell feels was forced upon him when he was unbankable). Highlights include duels with Paddy Chayevsky during the making of Altered States and with Bob Guccione for an aborted Moll Flanders, his first wife Shirley's tit-for-tat adultery with their chauffeur, and Oliver Reed's way of puffing himself up behind a screen for the nude wrestling scene in Women in Love. A modest demythologizing from the horse's mouth. (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").
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)