A well-organized, carefully researched, and fascinating study of the devastation of the Amazon rain forest; by Margolis, a Newsweek correspondent for eight years in Brazil. Margolis devotes each chapter to a consideration of a particular economic enterprise (mining, logging, ranching, farming) or social issue (migrant activity, union organization, Indian affairs, the Japanese presence), and describes how these matters are being addressed by both the Brazilian government and the environmental community at large. He provides a concise historical overview, taking the reader through the various stages of Western expansion in Brazil, grounded first in 19th-century Romanticism, then fueled by nationalist sentiments in the early 20th century, and culminating today in Brazil's quest for recognition as a global economic power. Margolis's familiarity with and love for the country serves him exceptionally well in reviewing the present-day scenario; his book's greatest strength lies in the wealth of detail realized through on-site interviews, personal anecdotes, and intimate, almost lyrical, descriptions of place. Although the tone is nonpartisan throughout—zealots on both sides of the debate are taken to task—the author's sympathies clearly lie with the innocent victims of rain-forest destruction, particularly Indians and peasants, and with the ``unsung heroes'' who are working toward the middle-ground solution of sustainable development. Homage is paid to agronomists, pharmacologists, responsible farmers, creative entrepreneurs, and, especially, the extractor/collectors— harvesters of rubber, nuts, and fruit who, under the inspired leadership of the late Chico Mendes, have induced the Brazilian government to set aside millions of forest acres for use as ``extractive reserves.'' A compelling account of the relentless incursion into one of the earth's last frontiers, and a determined call for calm and reason amidst the clamor of increasingly belligerent antagonists. (Photographs and maps—not seen.)
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)
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").