A wide-ranging, fascinating investigation by Slaughter (History/Rutgers) into the social and racial circumstances surrounding the Christiana Riot of 1851, in which runaway slaves stood up to the master who tracked them down and killed him. Sketching vivid scenes of a polarized American society in the 1840's and 50's, Slaughter re-creates conditions in Maryland and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where the grim episode began and ended. Together, four men escaped their slavers, fleeing to the free-black community of rural Lancaster; two years later, their presence was reported to owner Edward Gorsuch, who came after them with a posse and a warrant under the newly enacted Fugitive Slave Law. In a tense face-off, during which dozens of nearby African-Americans answered a call for assistance, Gorsuch was murdered and his posse beaten back, acts forcing the primary black participants to flee to Canada. A trial garnering national attention ensued in which a neighboring white miller, a bystander in the riot, was charged with treason but acquitted, to the delight of abolitionists and the disgust of slave-owners. From this historical base, Slaughter expands his inquiry compellingly to consider preexisting social conditions in the area, where roving white gangs of kidnappers forced blacks to defend themselves, as well as the prevailing racial prejudices under which supposedly free men and women suffered as severely in Pennsylvania as they did in slave-holding Maryland. An admirable study of a significant precursor to the Civil War, with specific details providing a springboard to broader treatment of the issues and tensions of the time.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-19-504633-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1991

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?

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



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

Did you like this book?