This unfettered tell-all will prove nostalgic for those who manage to remember being there and engrossing for readers...

INSIDE STUDIO 54

How drugs, sex, and celebrity shenanigans made 254 West 54th St. infamous on the 1980s Manhattan nightclub circuit.

When entrepreneur and author Fleischman was 10, his parents took him to the Copacabana; from that point, he admits that everything “onward propelled me on a trajectory toward Studio 54.” For four years, the author was the “ringleader” of the iconic disco, which quickly became known for its glitzy, star-studded clientele and nightly drug-addled debauchery. As owner and distinguished host, his job became his life and a great part of a heady journey “that nearly killed me.” Fleischman also chronicles his life before Studio 54, which featured significant commercial property acquisitions and a first long-term relationship, all set against a backdrop of sexual revolution and the game-changing Stonewall Riots. The author notes that the process of purchasing the nightclub building came with a sketchy liquor license deal and a sale contingent on heeding the counsel of the former owners, imprisoned for tax evasion, from their jail cells. The club’s reopening in 1981 featured a distinguished guest list, as well as 10,000 eager partiers and voracious young celebrities. With sharply drawn detail from an obvious insider’s vantage point, Fleischman graphically brings to life seasons of provocative parties and notorious “Rubber Room” antics, all of which cemented the club’s racy reputation as the premier destination in Manhattan. The stories of DJs, models, live performances, early Madonna, and scandal flow with the juiciness of a name-dropping gossip column. The hangover, however, proved a harsh reality check since, by the author’s third year of operation, his swift decline into drug addiction and mental instability became a potentially fatal reality: “I’d take Valium to go to sleep, wake up around three in the afternoon, do several lines of coke to get myself going and repeat the routine of yet another day.”

This unfettered tell-all will prove nostalgic for those who manage to remember being there and engrossing for readers wishing they were.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945572-57-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Vireo/Rare Bird Books

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

Did you like this book?

more