An agenda-driven history that will appeal only to those who already share the author’s disdain of contemporary leftism.



A provocative comparison between fascism, Nazism, and the modern political left.

According to libertarian activist Samuels (In Defense of Chaos, 2013), the “so-called polar-opposite ideologies” of fascism and communism are “virtual carbon copies” and “almost indistinguishable” from each other. Both share common traits of authoritarianism, he says, as well as a preference for collectivism over individualism, a hostility to free market capitalism, and a predilection against freedom of speech and thought. Although much of his book centers on proving his contentious thesis on the communist origins of Italian fascism and German Nazism, his underlying objective is to connect them to today’s left. Samuels sees such parallels in leftist protests against conservative speakers on college campuses; what he calls the “Big Lie” of accusations of sexual misconduct against U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh; and what he terms the “positive racism” of affirmative action. Though starkly polemical, Samuels’ prose style is sophisticated, and at its best when challenging the contemporary right-left ideological axis. His discussion of the connections between the “Old Right” and communist governments are notable, as he points out that they both favor monarchic regimes and government-enforced morality. However, Samuels’ political agenda often lends itself to sloppy analysis when asserting connections between fascism/Nazism and the contemporary left. For example, his claim that today’s “Democratic Party still seems to attract racists and admirers of Hitler’s military and economic accomplishments” ignores myriad racist organizations to whom the Democratic Party is anathema. He also cites the alleged “popularity” of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan among Democrats as evidence of their racism; however, Farrakhan’s stances on traditional gender roles, and his skepticism of the federal government, are closer to those of the right than the left. Samuels accuses leftists of having “a muddled sense of history,” but much of his own retelling of the history of fascist Italy and Nazi Germany seems deliberately constructed to discredit his political opponents in today’s America.

An agenda-driven history that will appeal only to those who already share the author’s disdain of contemporary leftism.

Pub Date: June 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9615893-1-8

Page Count: 595

Publisher: Freeland Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2019

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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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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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