An earnest book with idealistic intent but its proposals lack the detail they need to be widely embraced.

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Yield for Oncoming Greatness

CAPPING CAPITALISM

Tabrizi, in his debut nonfiction work, offers high-level proposals for how to improve the country.

Early on, the author, an Iranian immigrant, describes an experience he had after 9/11. When an annoyed flight attendant coldly told him that she could get him removed from the plane, he realized that she had the power to ruin his life: “This is a state of suspicion and paranoia rather than a state of democracy and freedom,” he thought. The book loses this personal tone, however, when the author begins to share his broad proposals to fix the nation’s ills. His first suggestion is a “Financial Transparency Service,” staffed by volunteers, which would produce a website with graphic reports of the profit and loss statements and balance sheets of every nonprofit and government contractor in the country. (Here, as elsewhere, he leaves unanswered questions, such as what would happen if the service couldn’t find enough qualified volunteers.) Next, he says, he would start a “Freedom Watch” group, staffed by peer-selected, unpaid experts, including CPAs, economists, scientists, and physicians. Freedom Watch subgroups would assign red, yellow, or green flags to various broad topics, such as global warming or stem cell research, to signal problems that need resolution. Any candidates for office, Tabrizi says, would have to state his or her opinion on every Freedom Watch issue, in the form of a “yes,” “no,” or “pass.” This is a big idea, yet the author covers it in less than three pages. Indeed, an overall lack of detail and an absence of practical descriptions of how ideas would work are the book’s main shortcomings. The author’s other ideas include limiting advertisements for certain items, including prescription drugs; requiring voter identification; insisting that all presidential candidates must be third-generation Americans; requiring Spanish as a second language; ending high school in 10th grade; and legalizing soft drugs and prostitution. Some of these notions do have widespread appeal, and Tabrizi helpfully points readers to organizations that are already doing advocacy work on such issues as popular-vote presidential election. However, he doesn’t anticipate or address skeptics’ concerns—including how his ideas might pass the U.S. Congress.

An earnest book with idealistic intent but its proposals lack the detail they need to be widely embraced.

Pub Date: May 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-0996210003

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Thinking Hat Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2015

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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