RACISM 101

From bestselling poet Giovanni, recently appointed professor of English at Virginia Polytechnic: over two dozen short essays, personal and political, on topics ranging from Spike Lee's Malcolm X to matters of family and friends While working primarily in the public realm by writing about various aspects of American life as she has encountered them in the past few years, Giovanni also leaves room for more intimate ruminations: on moving to Virginia; on the vagaries of teaching poetry; or on the significance of buying a candy-red sports car. Often affirming her affinity for the original Star Trek series, and especially for the role of communications officer Uhura (``The voice of the entire Federation''), she frequently evokes the memories and lessons of the Sixties as evidence of gains in justice and equality for black Americans. But with racism still present in both society and the classroom, and African-American collegians still an imperiled minority, the author comes down hard on those seen as perpetuating the problem, such as Spike Lee, for his lack of historical perspective and for his distorted, self-serving portrait of a genuine black hero. The general rage may be mellower with age, but Giovanni's ability to provoke with barbed comments remains much in evidence. Unfortunately, though, without the cutting edge consistently applied, these views of society and culture tend to ramble and reminisce more than drive the point home, leaving a favorable—but less than lasting—impression.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 1994

ISBN: 0-688-04332-1

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1993

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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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