Journalist Garrett's fly-on-the-wall appreciation of what goes on at Rose's Dataflex company, which for all the deference paid her nominal coauthor's charismatic management style affords some insights into how a mid-sized firm can be run for fun as well as profit. In 1984, the founder of New Jersey-based Dataflex (a reseller of computer equipment made by IBM and others) recruited Rose to rescue his foundering enterprise. By almost any standard, the designated savior engineered an impressive turnaround, making the service-oriented company one of the fastest-growing small businesses in the US. Not too surprisingly, then, Garrett (Money, Inc., etc.) focuses on how Rose contrives to keep Dataflex upwardly mobile through an offbeat combination of cajolery, corporate rituals, crack-of-dawn meetings, peer rankings, personal recognition, unexpected rewards, vision, and other techniques designed to foster togetherness. She does so by reporting and commenting on how Rose spent each day in a putatively typical workweek—an approach that yields a modestly suspenseful narrative and that also gives the 45-year-old CEO a chance to offer summary pronouncements at natural stopping points. On the downside, the text is rife with such sycophantic bushwa as: ``Rick Rose bolts out of the conference room like a shot. He strides quickly down the hallway leading to his office. His head is slightly ahead of his body as he walks, his jaw jutting forward. He rolls on the balls of his feet and bounces slightly—a study of motion and purpose.'' Nor do Rose's frequently pretentious pronouncements always hit their mark—e.g., ``Treat people as partners. The secret is to make sure they don't have the same skill set you do, because then you're just asking for conflict.'' Cavils apart: an informative behind-the-scenes briefing on what makes an inspirational leader and his competitive concern tick. (B&w photographs—16 pp.—not seen.)
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)
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").