A brilliant distillation of the ideas of the man called by Philip Johnson ``the most influential architecture teacher ever.'' Here, Scully (Art History/Yale; Pueblo, 1974) surveys with charm, eloquence, and philosophical reflection the history of the symbolic structures that mediate between the human beings who created and use them and the natural world. Scully's major theme is that architecture either imitates natural forms, as in pre-Hellenic Greece and in early as well as contemporary America, or contrasts with them, separating humans from nature, as in classical Greece and Rome, Renaissance Italy and France, and 18th-century England. Starting with a lyrical description of the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, drawing analogies with the sacred mountains and building of the Southwest Indians, he tours with pleasure, insight, and familiarity the Acropolis, the pyramids and the Romanesque Hagia Sophia, leading to the achievement of the Gothic cathedral—which Scully sees as an incarnation of the City of God and the human body, indeed of ``multiple truths,'' a cumulative concept that, he says, ``human beings seem afraid to acknowledge.'' He expresses this syncretism in his vision of Chartres: ``It lifts itself singing out of the wheat, within which the poppies, the blood of Adonis, grow.'' In spite of his eclecticism, Scully excludes from his architectural pantheon the ``brutalist buildings'' of the International School and Le Corbusier because, he says, they have no human relevance. Throughout, Scully reveals himself as a gifted writer, rising from a crisp structural analysis of Notre Dame to an incantatory reading of a whole urban landscape, coming to rest on the ultimate meaning of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., designed by his own student Maya Lin. In its interaction between the living and the dead, between nature and humanity, the memorial is very much a reflection of Scully's teaching. Thoughtful, passionate, and visually exciting—a work that will unquestionably encourage others both to create meaningful monuments, buildings, gardens and to understand them. (Over 500 illustrations, including 200 color and 200 b&w photographs.)

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 1991

ISBN: 0-312-06292-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

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?