This latest in Wheeler's long line of Civil War and WW II ``eyewitness histories'' (On Fields of Fury, 1991, etc.) follows the Union and Confederate forces in the East between September 1862 and May 1863, a time during which Robert E. Lee became renowned as one of the most brilliant commanders ever produced by America. ``Heroes of many defeats, we are not inclined to give gratuitous confidence to anyone,'' wrote a captain in the Federal Army of the Potomac to his mother. His pessimism was warranted: In just the nine-month period covered by this account, inept commanders squandered Union advantages in troop strength time and again, bringing Southern morale to its crest and Northern spirit to its low ebb. At Antietam, George McClellan frittered away the chance of a lifetime—an intercepted order of Lee's—and had to accept a draw in the bloodiest day of the war; at Fredericksburg, Ambrose Burnside hurled his forces repeatedly against impregnable enemy positions in a stupid, needless sacrifice; and at Chancellorsville, boastful Joseph Hooker, after executing a daring maneuver, inexplicably lost his nerve when Lee and Stonewall Jackson countered with their own tactical masterpiece. Wheeler never leaves his own authorial thumbprint on this self-effacing narrative but, once again, he has combed through memoirs, diaries, and letters to convey the impact of war on officers and enlisted men. Some scenes are extraordinarily vivid or moving: Confederate General John Gordon, wounded five times at Antietam before being carried off; Union soldiers dodging a hail of bullets at Fredericksburg just for a plug of tobacco; a Union officer putting a hopelessly wounded soldier out of his misery, only to be instantly killed himself; and Stonewall Jackson's lingering death after being wounded by friendly fire at Chancellorsville. An important chapter in the Civil War, seen through the participants' own graphic and powerful testimony. (Twenty-five maps and 108 b&w illustrations—not seen.)

Pub Date: June 6, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-016650-9

Page Count: 448

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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

Did you like this book?



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

Did you like this book?