Flows quite nicely indeed: a first from freelancer Pierce. (Illustrations)

OLD LONDON BRIDGE

THE STORY OF THE LONGEST INHABITED BRIDGE IN EUROPE

Eight centuries of British history from the vantage point of a structure that first spanned the Thames in 1176 and was rebuilt twice before being exiled, in 1968, to Lake Havasu, Arizona.

The first thing our mothers taught us isn’t so: London Bridge didn’t really fall down. It was certainly subject to the vicissitudes of fire, tempest, riot, and finally old age, but the great bridge with its 19 piers and 20 arches stood as a wonder through the days of the Plantagenets, Lancasters, Yorks, Tudors, Stuarts, and Hanovers. From Southwark to the City and back, the river that flowed quickly beneath carried Hogarth, Dickens, Jack Cade, Dick Whittington, Henry V, Elizabeth I, Samuel Pepys, and multitudes of Londoners and visitors. Rented residences and shops clung to both sides of the span. Chandlers, fishmongers, booksellers, butchers, and haberdashers made the path into a genuine strip mall, customarily managed by a self-regulating authority much like that of the New Jersey Turnpike. Tolls were collected from pedestrians and conveyances at various rates. At one time, the Clerk of the Drawbridge employed six carpenters, four masons, two sawyers, one mariner, one cook, a couple of rent collectors, and a rat catcher. Keeping traffic to the left (at the time a unique idea) occupied three traffic cops. Unusual events, crime, accidents, pageantry, and a superlative joust took place on the overpass, and for many years the severed heads of miscreants were displayed there on pikes. Thames watermen and swans negotiated the swirling offal and sewage dropped from buildings lining the old passage. In 1762, in a fit of urban renewal, the houses and shops were razed and the roadway widened. Not even 70 years later the demolition of the bridge itself began. The next London Bridge lasted until 1968, when it was sold to the Yanks.

Flows quite nicely indeed: a first from freelancer Pierce. (Illustrations)

Pub Date: May 15, 2003

ISBN: 0-7472-3493-0

Page Count: 344

Publisher: Headline

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2003

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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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