This study of Irish leader Charles Stewart Parnell's impact on Irish nationalism and on the course of British politics traverses an already well-traveled road. Prolific English historian Kee (1939: In the Shadow of War, 1984, etc.) brings to Irish history a careful, unimpassioned view, which is useful in tracing the evolution of Parnell, an Anglo-Irish Protestant landlord with little early interest in politics, into a leader who embodied and directed the nationalism of the Irish people. After entering the House of Commons at the age of 28, Parnell quickly brought the art of obstruction to new heights, became chairman of the Home Rule party within six years, and within five more had brought the Liberal Government to the point of introducing a Home Rule Bill that would have been considered ``no more than a rhetorical chimera'' when he first entered Parliament. In doing so, he helped turn out two British governments, one Liberal and one Conservative, and, by maneuvering the Liberals into adopting Home Rule, helped to turn out a third. He did so by a remarkably skillful use of parliamentary procedure, by creating the first disciplined democratic party of modern times, and by maneuvering to hold the balance of power between the Liberals and the Conservatives. He remains, however, as Kee notes, an elusive figure, and it is hard now to understand why British Prime Minister William Gladstone called Parnell the most remarkable man he had ever met. His fall was as swift as his rise; he was cited as co- respondent in the divorce petition of one of his colleagues, Willie O'Shea, and the scandal compromised the course of Irish nationalism for the next generation. Parnell died in 1891 at the age of 45, just four months after he had married his mistress. A careful, considered, judicious biography, but uninspired and oh, so long.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-241-12858-7

Page Count: 688

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1994

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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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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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