INDIRA GANDHI

AN INTIMATE BIOGRAPHY

An intimate friend of Indira Gandhi's offers an eloquent, revealing, and balanced look at the private and public lives of India's longtime leader. Granddaughter of anti-British patriot Motilal Nehru and daughter of Jawarharlal Nehru, Gandhi (1917-84) was born to Indian politics. Relying on taped interviews, as well as on her own memories and contemporary diaries and correspondence, Jayakar (Krishnamurti, 1986—not reviewed) draws the young Gandhi as proud, withdrawn, and lonely, but tremendously ambitious. Indira married Feroze Gandhi (no relation to the Mahatma) in 1942, and threw herself into the activities of the Indian National Congress, assisting her father in organizing resistance to British rule until independence came in 1948. When Nehru was elected PM, Gandhi devoted herself to Congress Party activities and world travel—with the intense strain of her political career eventually causing her marriage to unravel and her relationship with her sons Rajiv and Sanjay to suffer. Upon her father's death in 1964, Gandhi became a member of the cabinet of the new PM, Lal Shastri, succeeding him when he died two years later. As PM, Gandhi pursued a path of modernization, even socialism, as she attempted to rid Indian society of its ancient ways; she also wrangled with China, Pakistan, the Soviet Union, and the US over territorial and other issues. Jayakar criticizes Gandhi about the 1975 Emergency—during which the PM suspended democracy and imposed censorship—calling it her ``monumental error.'' But she's sympathetic in describing Gandhi's 1977 electoral defeat, her brief imprisonment in 1978, and her grief at Sanjay's death in a plane crash. In 1980, Gandhi reassumed office as PM and sought to heal India's deep cultural divisions at the same time that she became a leader of the nonaligned nations. In 1984, she was murdered by a Sikh bodyguard. An absorbing portrait of a complex, troubled woman who was driven by both idealism and ambition, and who both personified and threatened the ideal of Indian democracy. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-42479-2

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1993

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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