Enormous, groundbreaking biography of the great Lakota Sioux war chief (c. 1831-90). To date, the standard biography of Sitting Bull has been Stanley Vestal's Sitting Bull, Chief of the Sioux, written decades ago and more a triumph of literature than of history. Now, utilizing Vestal's original notes (collected in the 1920's and 30's and featuring interviews with many warriors who knew Sitting Bull intimately), as well as his own extensive research, Utley (Billy the Kid, 1989, etc.) has forged a new portrait of the Sioux warrior that places him squarely within his social and historical context. Whether Utley succeeds in his ambition of writing from both white and Native American perspectives is arguable—can anyone merge the two?—but he details with exquisite care and objectivity the life of the Lakota in the post-Civil War era, along with the intentions and actions of the Federal government. Into this powder-keg situation was born Sitting Bull, who soon demonstrated the revered Lakota male traits of bravery, humility, wisdom, and generosity. Utley, benefiting greatly from massive recent scholarship, traces Sitting Bull's rise as a war chief and as a wichasha wakan (holy man) with greater sensitivity to Native American ways than did previous biographers. In doing so, he puts the lie to earlier portraits of Sitting Bull as a cowardly ``pretender to high rank,'' revealing him as the supreme Sioux chief, a man ``distant and aloof from all whites,'' obsessed with his people's freedom, perhaps too stubborn but unquestionably a ``towering figure.'' Even the years of defeat—including a stint with Buffalo Bill's circus—shine with dignity, and Utley shows that Sitting Bull's death—which the author, going against popular belief, argues was not an assassination but an accident—marked a tragic loss for all Americans, white or Native American. The new standard against which all future lives of Sitting Bull will be measured. (Thirty-two b&w photographs, three maps) (History Book Club Main Selection)

Pub Date: June 22, 1993

ISBN: 0-8050-1274-5

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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