A scholarly yet charming compilation of distinctly feminine Native American legends—a continuation of the explorations that Allen (English/UCLA) began in The Sacred Hoop (1986) and Spider Woman's Granddaughters (a 1990 American Book Award). Concentrating on creation myths and their reflections in ancient and contemporary ritual, Allen, a Laguna Pueblo/Sioux Indian, blends a wealth of North American tribal tales into 21 elegantly phrased explications of what she terms the ``cosmogyny'' (the ``ordered universe arranged in harmony with gynocratic principles''), a concept all but lost, she says, with the incursion of European patriarchal thought. Far from a one-sided feminist view, the emphasis is on balance, with opposing forces (mortal/supernatural, masculine/feminine, individual/community) seeking ``completion rather than adversariness and opposition.'' As Changing Woman, one of the manifestations of the ``Great Goddess'' common to Native American lore, explains to her suitor, the Sun, ``You and I are of the same spirit stuff and so we are of equal worth...if there can be no harmony between us, then there can never be harmony any place in the universe.'' The best of the stories are respectful retellings of essentially timeless myths, suffused with a gently playful humor. Less successful are several slightly strained attempts to transport the narrative to present-day settings. Not that there isn't a purpose here, for Allen takes seriously Mayan prophecies of renewed attention to the supernatural within the next century, characterizing her work as a guide for ``...the process of return, enabling women to recover our ancient medicine ways...'' An unusual prescription, perhaps, but within the confines of this enchanting work, an effortlessly easy one to swallow. A winsome and valuable addition to the growing catalogues of Native American, spiritual, and feminist studies. (Seven b&w illustrations—not seen.)*justify no*

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-8070-8102-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1991

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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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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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