A rapturous operating manual for the soul.

THE ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS

REFLECTIONS OF AN ELDER ON THE TEACHINGS OF THE ELDERS, ADAPTING ANCIENT WISDOM TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Native American spirituality is the cure for what ails humanity, according to this rhapsodic New Age manifesto.

Mankind went wrong, argues Manitonquat, a Wampanoag poet, editor and counselor, at the first stirrings of civilization when we learned to exploit plants and animals instead of revere them, and to live in big cities instead of little bands. The result is a present-day culture stewing in violence, inequality, sexism, environmental devastation and global warming, one that “plunders everything, robs, rapes, pillages and murders its own and every other species, becoming madder, more enraged and more insane with every passing year.” Fortunately, he writes, we can regain sanity by recalling the “original instructions” the Creator meant us to obey, which are still remembered by the elders of the First Nations (the author, having seen 80 winters, is one). The central injunction is to abjure puritanical notions of sin and damnation and to cultivate a respectful awareness that “all of Creation is sacred and holy.” (And that, Manitonquat insists, means all of Creation, from the stars up above to head lice, intestinal parasites and Osama bin Laden). Further instructions comprise a catalogue of virtues: honesty, humility, generosity and hospitality; a keen appreciation for beauty (vultures and maggots included); the courage to oppose injustice; a childlike curiosity and playfulness. The comforting—and challenging—message is that we can heal the wounds of modernity if we turn away from greed, materialism and arrogant self-importance, commune with the Earth and cultivate an intimate connectedness to each other. Manitonquat’s prose has a sonorous, liturgical tone and rhythm, but it’s shot through with passages of lyrical nature writing (“there is an endless song here, made of wind, cries of sea birds, and the incessant crumbling rollers of the Atlantic roughly caressing the level sands”), indigenous folk stories, child-rearing tips, discussions of hominid evolution and bawdy jokes. His is a soaring spiritual vision that nevertheless remains rooted in the soil of everyday experience.

A rapturous operating manual for the soul.

Pub Date: June 29, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4389-8079-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2010

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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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