An admirably balanced account of the first Nuremberg trial, by Telford (Munich, 1979, etc.), who helped prosecute the Nazi war criminals. Taylor has allowed nearly half a century to elapse before writing about the trials in order, he says, to provide opportunity for reflection. He concludes that the trials were necessary; that nothing less would have met the worldwide demand for punishment; and that, above all, they created a precedent to punish aggressive wars in the future—but his account is surprisingly, if legitimately, critical of the proceedings. Their greatest flaw, Taylor believes, was the presence of Soviet judges, which led to an almost total absence of acknowledgment of the Nazi-Soviet Pact dividing Poland in 1939 and of the Soviet attack on eastern Poland, as well as to the ``travesty'' of the effort to allocate responsibility for the massacre at Katyn. Another serious flaw was the specific selection of the defendants, including Hess, who was probably insane; Schacht, who—though he had played a considerable economic role in the 30's—had been stripped of all honors during the war and had ended it in a concentration camp; and Streicher, who—though a nasty Jew-baiter—was, Taylor believes, unjustly executed. Most incredible of all was the misunderstanding between the British and American prosecutors as to whether the court would indict Gustave Krupp or his son Alfried. Despite these problems, the results of Nuremberg were largely just, Taylor says, and they helped deter actions that would have discredited the entire Allied victory: The British initially were in favor of summarily executing most of the German defendants, he explains, and Eisenhower suggested exterminating the entire German general staff, the leaders of the Nazi Party from mayors on up, and all members of the Gestapo. A thoughtful, fair, and eloquent memoir that marshals the evidence on each side with such an even hand as to be probably definitive. (Forty-two photographs—not seen.)
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)
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").