A FORD, NOT A LINCOLN

The point of Reeves' little debunking book on Jerry Ford can be quickly stated: Gerald Ford is like a McDonald's hamburger, a triumph in marketing the lowest common denominator. "Goal? He has no goals—Ford was a product of the system and the goal was to win the job." Unlike John Hersey whose profile in the New York Times Magazine was friendly—Hersey admired Ford's celebrated "ordinariness"—Reeves thinks that affable Jerry, whose chief concern seems to be never to offend anyone, is wholly unequipped intellectually and probably morally to lead the country. And in fact Reeves draws a very unedifying picture of Ford and his "team"—including a drunk and nasty Bob Hartmann and a power-hungry Donald Rumsfeld—walking in the shadows of the Nixon gang. It took weeks for Ford to work himself up to ousting Alexander Haig who had become an independent potentate during Nixon's decline. Reeves calls Ford a "superhawk" on Vietnam; he dubs the Nixon pardon "an extraordinary act, of political stupidity"; he characterizes the Chief Executive who was never meant to rise above Congressman from Grand Rapids, as "ignorant." (Ford, dislikes complicated position papers and once asked for a simplified one-page memo with a bottom line marked: Approve or Disapprove.) But what finally is Reeves' purpose in writing this little expose of what everyone already knows—-i.e., that Jerry Ford is dumb? Is he saying that all people get the government they deserve? Lacking any substantive analysis of why we have enshrined "the least objectionable alternative," Reeves doesn't seem to get much mileage out of either his title or his subtitle. Dispiriting.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 1975

ISBN: 0091264707

Page Count: 191

Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1975

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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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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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