Succeeds as both individual homage and in enlarging appreciation for military sacrifice.


My Brother in Arms


A tribute biography to an Air Force combat controller killed in Afghanistan.

In this intimate debut, told from the author’s point of view but filled with reminiscences by others, Forester thoroughly explores the life, service, death, and legacy of his brother and best friend, Senior Airman Mark Andrew Forester, shot through the heart while trying to reach a fallen comrade on Sept. 29, 2010. Mark grew up in a small Alabama town, the youngest of five children in a middle-class Mormon family. A carefree childhood of hunting, four-wheeling, rock climbing, and video games helped him hone skills he’d later use as a combat controller, fighting alongside ground troops while coordinating close air support. Patriotism, faith, and resolve came naturally to him. When the attacks of 9/11 occurred in the middle of his two-year LDS mission service, the 20-year-old found a new calling: “God wants me to kill terrorists.” He first went to college, then enlisted. Reprinted Air Force fact sheets describe the grueling three-year training regimen to become a combat controller, which should convince any reader of the discipline required. His Bronze Star testifies to his valor, and individuals from childhood, church, college, and the military bear witness to Mark’s exceptional commitment to his ideals, family, and friends. The telling is one only a brother could achieve. Thad’s collaboration with wordsmith Glencoe is seamless in style, tone, and clarity throughout as they effectively weave small personal experiences into a coherent tapestry of Mark’s character. The book excels at showing how combat deaths affect families, friends, and fellow service personnel and how such losses can inspire others. Accounts of battles in Uruzgan Province are poignant and detailed, providing context often lacking in media coverage of U.S. fighting there, but this is not a book for those seeking broad discussion of U.S. military policy or varied viewpoints on the war. The book’s sole mission is eulogy, and its reflection of Mark’s unambiguous and unquestioned duty to God and country will have wide appeal, especially with military families.

Succeeds as both individual homage and in enlarging appreciation for military sacrifice.

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9846035-3-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



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

Did you like this book?

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?