A powerful, moving account of a fledgling lawyer's struggle to stay the execution of serial killer Ted Bundy. As a first-year associate, Nelson blindly accepted a ``little pro bono project.'' She had no idea she was committing the next three years of her life to representing a man who had murdered (approximately) 35 young women. She had no idea that her client, a manic-depressive law school dropout, would repeatedly attempt to sabotage her representation, or that her law firm—Washington DC's white-shoe, politically connected Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering- -``would come to think that [she] had saddled them with this unsavory million-dollar case''; ultimately, they would fire her for her zealous, single-minded advocacy. Nor did she realize that her true opponents in the case would be not the prosecutors but the state and federal courts intent on executing her despised client, no matter what evidence of his insanity she presented. But Nelson's most profound lesson was that she could not focus exclusively on the constitutional issues of Bundy's appeal (such as his incompetence in representing himself, as he had insisted on doing at trial). Somehow, she had to come to grips with the ``absolute misogyny'' of her defendant's bestiality. She had to be able to answer the question posed by every reporter who thrust a microphone in her face: ``What about the victims?'' Nelson quotes liberally from the court record as she recreates the labyrinthine complexity of the death-row appeals process, but you don't have to be a lawyer to appreciate her epiphany as a litigator: ``The best approach is to gladly embrace all the facts, no matter what, and show that every last one of them only reinforce the unassailable correctness of your position''—namely, that capital punishment is murder, and Bundy, executed in 1989, didn't deserve to die. Both a stunningly candid personal story and a fascinating dissection of a misunderstood case. Deserves a wide readership. (First printing of 25,000)
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").
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)