THE BELTWAY BEAST

HOW TWO TRIBES IN D.C. ARE STEALING FROM OUR CHILDREN, VIOLATING OUR PRIVACY AND DESTROYING THE MIDDLE CLASS

A political treatise that laments how America’s democracy inadequately represents its citizens and calls for the creation of a third party.
In his debut effort, Moon catalogs a host of familiar ailments that he believes currently infect the body politic, including corruption, fiscal irresponsibility, a chronically underperforming educational system, monumental debt and partisan stalemates. However, he unconventionally identifies the principal political challenge of our time as the disenfranchisement of citizens, particularly neglected minorities. He marshals impressive statistical evidence in favor of his thesis that government aggrandizement has come at the expense of voter power. His argument’s seductiveness is partially a function of his consistent bipartisanship. For example, it’s not often that one finds a book that argues for increased teacher compensation while also sharply criticizing public teachers’ unions or that advocates health care reform by competitively pitting private and public programs against each other. The argument’s scope is also dizzyingly wide-ranging, addressing such topics as the government’s response to cyberthreats and a plan for reforming the structure of the United Nations. Sometimes Moon issues overzealous, sweeping generalizations; at one point, for example, he declaims that “[l]obbyists are synonymous with corporations” and then contradicts himself, saying that they “represent labor unions, trade groups, foreign governments, and nonprofits, among others.” His vision for a third party, “The People’s Party of America,” is also a touch quixotic, as it “envisions a nation where every person has access to education, affordable healthcare, and job opportunities; poverty is eradicated and the tax system is fair for all; and our elected leaders term themselves out.” Still, armed with an MBA, Moon presents a pragmatic business plan for establishing this party and reflects with estimable acuity on the history of third-party success in the United States. For a self-professed “average American,” he offers a measured, serious diagnosis of today’s political difficulties, coupled with a wealth of provocative potential solutions.

An engaging critique that sees the two-party system as the source of the United States’ political travails.

Pub Date: Nov. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9913721-0-2

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Rare Bird Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 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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