THE PRESIDENT WE DESERVE

BILL CLINTON: HIS RISE, FALLS, AND COMEBACKS

In a warts-and-all but ultimately respectful attempt to capture the manifold contradictions and promise of Bill Clinton and his administration, Walker, US bureau chief for the Guardian (The Cold War, 1994, etc. ), portrays the president as the archetypal figure of America's postwar meritocracy. Walker characterizes Clinton's upbringing and childhood in postwar Arkansas as a quintessentially American story: Raised in a home fraught with pain and conflict, Clinton nonetheless showed early in life a powerful ambition, a deep resilience, and a hunger for success. He brimmed with self-confidence and easily acquired the badges of adolescent achievement: Among other things, he was president of his high school class and a National Honor Society member. During his years at Georgetown University and later as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, and at Yale Law School, Clinton never wavered from his determination to return to Arkansas and launch a political career, and he was successful from the start, becoming governor at 32. Walker shows Clinton's many ups and downs as governor; his slow evolution into a national political figure, the most attractive of the ``New Democrats'' offering fundamentally conservative approaches to domestic issues; his problematic 1992 presidential campaign; and the humiliations of his first years in office as his administration became mired in crises and his grand health-care initiative was defeated. Walker also portrays the skill with which Clinton has responded to the Republican challenge since the loss of Democratic congressional power in 1994, with Clinton achieving successes on both foreign and domestic policy fronts and throwing the Republicans on the defensive on many important issues. Clinton, Walker concludes, has demonstrated ``strong grounds to claim his right to reelection.'' This thoughtful political biography shows that Clinton is a consummate politician and that opponents underestimate him at their peril. (b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-517-59871-X

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1996

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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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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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