BORIS YELTSIN

A POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY

An intriguing and potentially controversial biography of the new President of Russia, by husband-and-wife Russian ÇmigrÇs Solovyov and Klepikova (Behind the High Kremlin Walls, 1986; Yuri Andropov, 1983). Skipping lightly over Yeltsin's early years, the authors concentrate on his conflict with Gorbachev and the Communist Party. While strongly supportive of Yeltsin (``a man of truly heroic stature'') and critical of Gorbachev (``a 60-year-old man made of Silly Putty''), their approach is sober and informed. Yeltsin and Gorbachev were born a month apart, the authors tell us, both the issue of generations of peasants and both hailing from villages remote from Moscow. But while Gorbachev grew to enjoy luxury and to cling to the Communist Party almost to the end, Yeltsin proved himself sternly incorruptible (during his tenure as Moscow Party boss, he traveled to work on the crowded subway) and made his mark as the first dissident from within the Kremlin, the first to leave a high Party position voluntarily, and the first to lead a popular revolt against the Party. Solovyov and Klepikova describe Yeltsin as sociable, noisy, effusive, a bit of a showoff, provincial and proud of it, but with ``extraordinary political instincts.'' The most controversial aspect of the authors' reportage, though, lies in their coverage of the August coup and the evidence they present that Gorbachev may even have been responsible for it (they cite key KGB sources, for example, who claim that Gorbachev's communications at his dacha were not, in fact, cut off). The authors conclude that they ``dare not close this book on an optimistic note,'' but they leave a sense that if anyone can triumph over chaos in Russia, it may be Yeltsin. Often disjointed and disorganized, as if hastily prepared, but providing remarkable insight into the conflicts in the Soviet Union and the quality of the man who has been called upon to deal with them.

Pub Date: March 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-399-13715-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1992

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

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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