`There is a lot of sadness in this [book] because the best stories in the newspaper are those of people in trouble,` Bragg...



A collection of did-you-hear-about-the-person-who articles by a Pulitzer-winning New York Times feature reporter.

`I keep thinking,` writes Rick Bragg (All Over But the Shoutin’, 1997), `that someday I will not have to write about race, about hatred. I keep thinking that.` There are a lot of such thoughts in this anthology of the features Bragg has published over the last 13 years, primarily as Miami bureau chief for the New York Times. Alabama-raised but now Florida-based, Bragg’s journalistic territory ranges as far north as the streets and projects of Brooklyn and as far west as the plains and oilfields of Texas; Southern sense and sensibility pervades his reporting throughout, without compromising its integrity or limiting its appeal. More than half of these 64 features focus in some fashion or other upon the stories and plight of America’s least wanted: in Miami we are introduced to the Shantytown homeless (who hope for little more in the way of shelter than dry cardboard); in New Orleans we meet the children who live at the St. Thomas housing project (and are looked upon as survivors if they succeed in turning 13); and in Brooklyn we are given a brief tour of the bodegas (whose owners live in constant hope that their next customer won’t bear fatal tender). Here again are the acts once unimaginable and now seemingly commonplace, here again are the names and places that became familiar: Oklahoma City; Susan Smith; Jasper, Texas. A welcome third of the stories have lighter subjects: a sweet-tea brew-off, Cajun Christmas traditions in the Mississippi delta, and Oseola McCarthy (the washwoman who accumulated a small fortune and gave it all to the University of Alabama).

`There is a lot of sadness in this [book] because the best stories in the newspaper are those of people in trouble,` Bragg warns. Journalists, sociologists, and psychologists will find much in Bragg’s observations to consider and reconsider. Most readers will, too.

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8173-1027-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Univ. of Alabama

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000

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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...



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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