A startling journalistic effort by first-time author Watkins, looking at Jim Crowera hiring practices at a national restaurant chain. Ray Danner, the diminutive head of Shoney's, spent most weekends flying to his restaurants across the country. His inspections were the stuff of legend—he was rumored to pitch in if the restaurant was busy, and he made time to speak to all the staff. He also, according to the managers under his rule, made sure to let them know if there were too many blacks working in a particular restaurant—``Lighten the place up'' was a favored euphemism for this policy. The chain's upper ranks instructed managers to cut back on black staff by sharply reducing their work hours, and promotions of black workers were all but forbidden. In April 1988, managers Billie and Henry Elliott were fired for refusing to comply with Shoney's racial policy, and the incensed couple went to Tommy Warren, a football star turned lawyer who agreed to take on the company's large and well-paid legal team. Warren found thousands of black workers who had been humiliated and fired from Shoney's restaurants, and more, like Josephine Haynes, whose applications for work had been ignored: Managers were instructed to blacken the o in ``Shoney's'' on the application form if the job-seeker was black. The class-action case (on behalf of 21,000 victims of discrimination) languished for years under Clarence Thomas at the EEOC, though the numbers of those discriminated against by Shoney's kept growing. At the same time, the Supreme Court whittled away at the legal standing of discrimination suits, forcing Warren to focus almost solely on applicants who had been unfairly denied work. Nevertheless, Warren prevailed and settled the case with Shoney's in 1992 for $132.5 million, the largest such settlement in US history. An unsettling, fascinating revelation of a truly wretched corporate environment and a rare triumph for the underdog. (9 b&w photos)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-8203-1916-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Univ. of Georgia

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1997



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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