PATRIARCHY

NOTES OF AN EXPERT WITNESS

This assortment of essays (1986 to 1994) assesses sexual inequality in America and demands deep structural changes for the future survival of all women and men. Chesler (Sacred Bond: The Legacy of Baby M, 1988, etc.) is on track in challenging women at a time when the feminist movement seems to have stalled. But backlash and conspiracy theories don't hold water if in fact women haven't achieved the long-sought-after gains. The essays are full of names, facts, and figures used to support her claims about overall sexual inequality, yet her extremist ravings tend to essentialize women, especially since she offers only occasional lip service to cultural differences. Throughout the essays she sharply challenges the liberal thinking of gender neutrality, but her radical perspective doesn't provide solutions to the problems she addresses, such as custody battles, domestic violence, and rape. Chesler's strongest piece examines the case of Aileen Wuornos, the female serial killer in Florida convicted and sentenced to death in 1992. According to Chesler, women are held to higher standards than men within the legal system and there consequently exists a double standard of punishment for criminal acts. In the final essay, an example of women at work for justice, Chesler visits a group of mostly lesbian feminists outside Ovett, Miss. Describing her trek to Camp Sister Spirit, Chesler tangentially critiques the overurbanization of America. Claiming there is nothing indigenous left, she carelessly uses as proof the fact that ``the Indians...are all dead and gone.'' Apparently Chesler has never traveled to any reservations or chatted with any urban Indians. This and other sloppy remarks about the state of the world diminish the points she tries desperately to make. Unfortunately, Chesler's expert testimony against patriarchy is full of rhetorical generalizations. But even those who might dismiss Chesler on grounds of political ideologuing cannot ignore the ardent analysis of critical issues buried in her radical jargon.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 1-56571-039-6

Page Count: 150

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1994

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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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