CSNY

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG

A must for CSNY fans and anyone who remembers the era when it ruled the pop charts.

An enthusiastic history of one of rock music’s most significant supergroups.

Rock journalist Doggett (Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone: 125 Years of Pop Music, 2015, etc.) traces his protagonists from their origins through their early success in the Byrds (David Crosby), the Hollies (Graham Nash), and Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills and Neil Young). As the author shows, the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1960s was a meeting place for nearly everyone who came to prominence in folk or rock. Prime among them was Crosby, who strutted around in a cape and whose counterculture credentials included introducing the Beatles to LSD. After one night at a popular music venue, Crosby, Stills, and Nash came together for a stoned singing party that gave birth to a new sound. With the addition of Young and the band’s appearance at Woodstock, the legend was underway as well as the melodrama of fights, breakups, reunions, and excess. Doggett frankly admits that he is a fan of the group, and he traces the band’s career from concert to concert, recording session to recording session. In addition to providing the stories behind the better-known songs, the author spends plenty of time on their lives offstage, including their liaisons with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. Throughout, Doggett does a solid job differentiating among the four members of the group, each an interesting, if not necessarily likable, personality. Young gets most of the blame for the group’s breakups, though with four enormous egos, everyone receives a due share. The author backs it all up with voluminous documentation, including interviews with all the participants and ample quotations from contemporary reviews of almost every record and concert, including the members’ solo projects. The narrative is eminently readable, with few dull passages, even when the protagonists are sulking during one of the band’s numerous fights.

A must for CSNY fans and anyone who remembers the era when it ruled the pop charts.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8302-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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