Mexican novelist Taibo (Leonard's Bicycle, 1995, etc.) offers his political adventure-story take on Latin America's revered revolutionary, with heavy use of excerpts from Guevara's diaries and interviews with other sources. In the third biography of Guevara this year, Taibo spends little time investigating the revolutionary's personal life, which was detailed by Jon Lee Anderson (p. 343), and is similarly brief with his subject's initial political development and his changing views, which was Jorge Casta§eda's focus (p. 1174). While acknowledging that he was a prolific reader of political tracts, revolutionary poetry, and a wide array of fiction, Taibo notes that when it came to the politics of revolution, ``as far as Cuba was concerned, Che was no more than a country intellectual who had never set foot in a city.'' It is Che the rebel fighter who became an international icon, and it is this aspect of his life that Taibo stresses—one third of the biography is dedicated to his successful year as a soldier and commander in Cuba. While his troops rested between battles, the tireless Che took charge of rebel training camps, gave basic reading lessons, tended to the wounded, and launched the guerrillas' own newspaper and radio station. Once, as Batista's forces were known to be preparing an offensive, Guevara took time out to prepare a splint for a wounded bird. In addition to his individual military victories, Taibo notes that the revolution's success was also due to Guevara's ability to step up the pace of assaults in late 1958 to take advantage of the crumbling dictatorship. After five frustrating years filling various roles in the new Cuban government, Guevara departed in semi-exile to do what he did best—but his expeditions in the Congo and Bolivia ended in failure and eventually in his execution. A sentimental tale of revolutionary exploits, in which Che's own voice is clearly heard.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1997

ISBN: 0-312-15539-5

Page Count: 671

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997

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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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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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