Engaging fluff, as Catholic priest and former Notre Dame president Hesburgh (God, Country, Notre Dame, 1990) spends his first year in retirement poking around the world. The title is obviously modeled on Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, and Hesburgh occasionally approaches the Nobel Prize winner's intoxicating on-the-open-road air of freedom, but never his psychological complexities. In fact, most of the characters here remain nothing more than names; this is even true of Hesburgh's rather invisible fellow traveler, Fr. Ned Joyce, former vice-president of Notre Dame. The fun comes in the traveling itself, which holds no surprises but moves swiftly from sight to sight. First the pair take an RV on a 12-week cruise out west. They concelebrate Mass each day; visit friends; marvel at the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Yellowstone. On a side flight to Alaska, the two fish for salmon and meet with bishops, professors, and Indians. Next stop is Latin America, where they dine with various national leaders, trap alligators in the Amazon, and wander the ruins of Machu Picchu. Here, the book briefly becomes more somber, as Hesburgh encounters survivors of Argentine political terror. After a short stop in New York for the Heisman Trophy dinner, it's all aboard the QE II as chaplains during a spin of the Caribbean, followed by an around-the-world cruise. Hesburgh reads Allan Bloom near the Panama Canal, chats with Ruby Keeler and George McGovern, finds Tahiti hot, India crowded, China awash in red tape (he's not strong on novel observations). Finally, the gung-ho travelers make it to Antarctica, where Hesburgh admires the penguins and argues, unsuccessfully, with a Polish bully who rejects his request to say Mass. Hesburgh justifies his lark with some words of encouragement to other retirees—few of whom could afford even a portion of these travels. This embarrassment aside, the excellent adventures of Ted & Ned prove a fine antidote to cabin fever.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-385-26681-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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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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