A sometimes-distorted and sometimes-revealing portrait of a nightmarish United States.

America The Black Point of View: An Investigation and Study of The White People of America and Western Europe and The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy - The 1950's and 1960's - From the Projects to NAACP Image Award Winner, Volume One.

White racism, slavery, and ongoing bigotry are to blame for the problems of black America, as well as the author’s violent youth, according to this manifesto and accompanying memoir.

Rose, a publisher and record producer, opens his book with an essay. Its subjects include the sins of white people against Africans, surveying the horrors of the Middle Passage; the violation of slave women by white owners in the American South and the brutalization and emasculation of black men; the drug trade in black communities, which he contends is organized by the U.S. government; police killings; and the ingrained racism of some 70 percent of whites. Rose’s rambling exposition of the history of slavery and racism, some of it apparently reprinted from Wikipedia, contains much truth. However, it also contains exaggeration and stereotyping of people of European descent, whom he characterizes as “primitive, barbaric, vicious white monkeys [who] descended with the horrors of their psychotic desires and thirst for blood, rape and death on so-called uncivilized African and people of color throughout the world.” He calls for reparations, and urges African-American youngsters to avoid drugs and crime and get an education; less constructively, he suggests that “whenever we meet or see a white man we should all just spit on him for the death of our millions of ancestors.” The volume’s second part, “The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy,” is more personal and less ideological, as it recounts Rose’s grim upbringing in the purgatory of Boston’s housing projects in the 1950s and ’60s. He writes of being perpetually hungry; abandoned by his father, a career pimp and mob hit man who was often in jail; regularly beaten by a mentally unstable mother; and preyed upon by merciless gangs—until he joined one and started committing robberies. His story also has its heroes, including his genteel grandmother, sympathetic grocers, the nuns at his parochial school, a caring Boy Scout leader, and finally, the U.S. Air Force, which gave him training and discipline. Overall, the memoir is fragmented and repetitive. However, his prose is vigorous and vivid, and sometimes pungent, scabrous, and sexually graphic. It leaves a lasting impression of the chaos, deprivation, and psychic ravages of the ghetto, but also gives readers a more nuanced, three-dimensional view of its social life and its people.

A sometimes-distorted and sometimes-revealing portrait of a nightmarish United States.

Pub Date: May 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937269-50-0

Page Count: 572

Publisher: Amber Communications Group, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2015

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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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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

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