One of the most psychologically ambitious—and adoring—biographies of Joan of Arc available.

Maiden General

HOW A 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL SAVED FRANCE AT ORLEANS: A TRUE STORY

A new biography of Joan of Arc provides a granular account of her young personality.

This new book examines the life of Jehanne la Pucelle, popularly known as Joan of Arc. Beginning at the age of 12, Jehanne began to experience what she believed were visitations from angels, preparing her for an important mission she was to undertake on God’s behalf. She finally came to the realization that she had been appointed to lead the French against the English invaders in the first half of the 15th century, in the later stages of the Hundred Years’ War. The English military controlled most of northern France, and conventional wisdom held that Orléans was the last barrier to a decisive triumph over the French. Jehanne believed it was her divine purpose to lead French forces to victory over the English at Orléans, and to restore the legitimacy of Charles VII’s claim to the crown. She traveled an arduous journey to meet Gov. Robert de Baudricourt, whom she convinced to grant her a hearing before the king in Chinon; somewhat surprisingly, the king, convinced Jehanne was the fulfillment of an old French prophecy, had armor made for her and elevated her to the status of field commander, in charge of 500 soldiers. She then traveled to Orléans, fought with impressive valor, and suffered serious wounds. The French ultimately prevailed in Orléans, and Jehanne was considered by many to be a deciding factor in the newfound fortune of the French. MacCarthy, who has collaborated on numerous books (Only in America: The Story of the Seven Alessio Brothers, 2002, etc.), furnishes a novellike fictionalization of Jehanne’s life that attempts to plumb her inner thoughts, and not merely offer the historical details of her deeds. He begins with her early life on the family farm in Lorraine, and carefully charts the development of her commitment all the way through the battle of Orléans, which is vividly described. The author unabashedly loves his subject, and so even the most fabular elements of Jehanne’s story, doubted by many historical experts, are gushingly presented as fact. The tale, if not at a rigorous scholarly level, is still told briskly, delivering cinematic action and suspense, which should keep readers gripped. Despite its fawning excess, the book provides a captivating historical dramatization, with the emphasis on drama.

One of the most psychologically ambitious—and adoring—biographies of Joan of Arc available. 

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4787-6352-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Outskirts

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2016

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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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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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