Here, the former Chief Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee contends, not always plausibly, that the Senate's 1987 rejection of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork was a principled rebuff by the American people of a jurisprudential radical. In explaining his judicial philosophy in The Tempting of America (1990), Bork contended that the Senate's rejection of his candidacy for the Supreme Court illustrated the deplorable politicization of America's legal system. He also argued that his theory of ``original intent''—that is, that judges should construe the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights narrowly and in accordance with the perceived intent of the original draftsmen of these texts, and without finding unenumerated rights in them—is the only legitimate interpretive framework. Gitenstein does little to dispel Bork's charge of politicization: His vivid descriptions of Sen. Joseph Biden's meetings with media and liberal-interest groups demonstrate plainly the nomination-process's political dimension. But he makes an arresting case that Bork's philosophy of originalism radically departs from the jurisprudential mainstream and that, if accepted by the full Court, it would have resulted in the repudiation of a half century of case law in the areas of civil rights, privacy, voting rights, and other fields. Gitenstein is less persuasive when he appears to argue, frequently citing opinion polls, that Bork's defeat was the result, not of a partisan political campaign, but of a considered judgment by the American people of Bork's judicial philosophy. He asserts finally that although the Senate was unable to prevent the creation of a conservative majority on the Supreme Court in the wake of Bork's defeat, the post-Bork Court is considerably more solicitous of ``unenumerated rights'' of individuals than if Bork were on the Court. Historically valuable as a politically partial account of the Bork nomination, but inadequate as an examination of Bork's jurisprudence.
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").