CULTURE AND COMMITMENT

A STUDY OF THE GENERATION GAP

"The future is now," Margaret Mead says as the coda of her series of three essays developed from the Man and Nature lectures at the American Museum of Natural History. The lesson the elders of western society must learn is to relocate the future in the present, to give power to the young and together work out man's destiny. The message will be impossible for some to swallow, but Mead, now approaching 70, is both optimistic and shares the enthusiasm of activist youth. In the first two essays she classifies cultures in terms of models for behavior. In "postfigurative" societies the three generation family is typical, and grandparents set the tone of the life style. "Cofigurative" societies are those in which there is some recognition and approval of change, and models can be drawn from contemporaries. We are now moving toward a "prefigurative" society—the NOW generation if you will—and Mead feels that this may be our only hope. As usual the distinguished anthropologist displays a stunning intuition illumined by anecdotes drawn from her lifelong fieldwork, but also, as usual with intuitionists, you find you want to ask more pointed questions as you read, pick a hole in an argument here or there and finally ask who are the teachers from whom the young are learning if they are to teach the old. Perhaps the real point is that the word "generation" has lost meaning and we must substitute a new term for groups only five or six years apart who act as the links between those who came before and those who come after.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 1969

ISBN: 0370013328

Page Count: 99

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1969

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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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