Fitzgerald—born in Africa but now living in Britain—makes her American debut with this sometimes offbeat yet still wrenching account of the many pestilences ravaging Africa. As the African correspondent for the London Times and the Independent, Fitzgerald, along with her two daughters, had long made her home in Kenya. But in 1988, she was deported on what she says was a fabricated charge, almost certainly a result of the pieces she had written criticizing Kenyan leader Daniel Moi. This abrupt rupture provoked ``a situation so awful that `mid-life crisis' was an inadequate description,'' forcing Fitzgerald and others like her to become ``nomads travelling an uncertain route.'' Heeding Pascal's reflection that travel diverts us from despair, she made London her base and became a correspondent for the British Sunday Times. Here, she discusses Kenya's widespread human-rights abuses and corruption: A typical experience was that of the Danish government, whose $40 million gift to establish a rural development program disappeared without a trace; the war and famine in Ethiopia, ``where a sinister war machine was steamrolling back and forth across the carcass of a ravaged land''; the problems of poaching in the Central African Republic, an angry place that ``had known only dictatorship and dependency''; and the nasty war in Liberia, where atrocities turned entire towns into morgues. Paralleling these stories is her own personal odyssey, including visiting traditional healers, acquiring a fetish, and sacrificing a live chicken. Finally, Fitzgerald realized that ``home wasn't a place'' and, like the nomads, she was free—and ready to write this book. A riveting portrait of the endemic brutality and heartbreaking beauty that is the compelling paradox of contemporary Africa. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-670-84846-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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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...



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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