Jewish nostalgia, Manhattan style. Ostransky (Music/Univ. of Puget Sound) recalls his childhood on New York's Lower East Side, where he lived under the heavy thumb of his illiterate father. During Prohibition, the elder Ostransky was known as Daddy at home, Sharkey at the illegal bar that he managed on Rutgers Street. Daddy had a passion for Victor Red Seal classical records, loved Caruso and gypsy violin, and wanted more than anything that his son grow up to match Heifetz and Menuhin as a Jewish virtuoso. To this end, he forced young Leroy to practice daily in the back room of his bar and take weekly lessons uptown from Maestro Cores. Unfortunately, what Daddy/Sharkey liked was ``Jewish music'' (which he heard in the most unlikely works simply because they might be written in a minor key) and beat the boy to make him sound more passionate. In fact, the musical apogee of Lower East Side Jews was the cantorial style, which requires ``vocal virtuosity equal to anything in Verdi or Puccini,'' and is so dramatic that ``even the unfaithful might suspect that the Lord of the universe pays attention and listens.'' That's what Sharkey wanted to hear when Leroy practiced—but it wasn't the clean, sharp playing that Maestro Cores wanted. Sharkey was a violent man, used to keeping law and order in his bar with his fists, and when at book's end he at last accompanies trembling Leroy to a lesson from the Maestro, who complains about the boy's gypsy style on the scales, Leroy expects his old man to punch out the teacher. Finally, at Prohibition's end, the bar collapsed, and old Sharkey became an assistant on a beer-delivery truck. Old home-feelings all on a dead level with no rising action- -but some elders will welcome this seedcake.

Pub Date: May 22, 1991

ISBN: 0-688-10325-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1991

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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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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