A vigorous biography of the pugnacious Civil War general and Indian fighter, affectionately called ``Little Phil''—behind his back. The Union cavalry leader who rallied his seemingly routed Army of the Shenandoah with an electrifying ride back to the front at the Battle of Cedar Creek, Sheridan (as detailed by Morris, editor of the magazine America's Civil War) emerges as supremely competent if not always likable. Unlike his superiors Grant and Sherman, Sheridan served in uniform without interruption for his entire adult life, rising from lowly origins as the son of an indigent Irish-Catholic immigrant to become commander of America's army. Gruff, combative, at times ruthless, he was, Morris explains, uncomfortable in postwar roles as military supervisor of Texas and Louisiana and as the politically incorrect destroyer of Western tribes (though his oft-quoted ``the only good Indian is a dead Indian'' may be apocryphal). Nor was he perfect in battle, as evidenced in lapses at Perryville and Chickamauga and in dragging his heels in destroying Lee's army after the Shenandoah campaign. Yet, unlike his subordinate, the dashing but foolhardy George Armstrong Custer, Sheridan, Morris demonstrates, was as deliberate and careful as he was brave. A master of detail since his days as a teenaged stock clerk and young quartermaster, he ensured that he led a force that was well supplied, effectively outnumbering and concentrated against the enemy, and thoroughly briefed by scouts and spies. His self-confident battlefield magnetism appealed both to the common soldier and to mentors such as Grant and Lincoln's chief of staff Henry Halleck. A pungent, authoritative, and convincing portrait of the bantam cadet who became one of the Civil War's giants. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs; four maps.)

Pub Date: May 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-517-58070-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1992

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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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