A smart, straight-talking account by an author who courageously followed her beliefs.

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ACTIVIST ODYSSEY

INSIDE PROTEST MOVEMENTS, SOME OF WHICH WORKED

A human rights activist recalls a richly textured life in this memoir.

Hart Wright (When Spirits Come Calling, 2002, etc.) was born in the middle of the Depression. She grew up in New York City, where, as a child, she was ashamed to invite classmates back to the family apartment on account of it being poorly maintained and infested with cockroaches. This led to her being somewhat of an outsider. But her uncle and aunt were wealthy publishers, and the author grew up surrounded by books that she loved to dive into. Always a bright student, Hart Wright finally found her footing when she attended Juilliard Prep, where she felt she fit in with the other girls in class. Her outsider status came to an end in junior high, where she was elected to minor offices in two clubs and went on to win a scholarship to Cornell. So began a remarkable life adventure, which saw her active in the anti-war movement in Berkeley, California; witness the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech firsthand; and take up residence in Panama with her then husband, a zoologist. Hart Wright’s memoir details all manner of diverse experiences, from coming under attack in Mexico while supporting the Zapatistas to believing to have received messages from beyond the grave from her dead husband, Paul. This account elegantly captures the zeitgeist of mid-20th-century America. For example, when recalling a protest outside the United Nations Tower, the author notes how even though the “McCarthy era was beginning to wane, American civil liberties still left much to be desired.” She describes a man taking photographs of the protesters who she suspected was an FBI agent. She recalls: “Every time I circled past the man with the camera, I would raise my sign to cover my face.” Hart Wright’s writing is also astonishingly steely at times. When discussing a former husband, she asserts: “I didn’t love him, his presence didn’t excite me.” Yet at the very heart of this memoir is the vehement belief that “when good people help and the system works then, with luck, things can get better.” The book offers a powerful message of hope that resonates as strongly today as it did 50 years ago.

A smart, straight-talking account by an author who courageously followed her beliefs.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-73301-233-1

Page Count: 268

Publisher: EnAvant Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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