A close-up look at the most popular figure within the social and political chaos that is today's Russia. The husband-and-wife team of Solovyov and Klepikova (Boris Yeltsin, 1992) have crafted a highly readable account of Zhirinovsky's rise to fame that presents the nationalist leader as a prism through which the bewildering problems of contemporary Russia are refracted. Russia is today faced with a paradoxical dilemma: how to protect democracy from the demagogue who would use democracy to destroy it. For the authors, the key to understanding Zhirinovsky is the Russian concept of the Vozhd', or supreme leader, the Russian equivalent of the German FÅhrer. In contrast to another recent biography (Vladimir Kartsev's !Zhirinovsky!, p. 360), Solovyov and Klepikova insist that Zhirinovsky was born a Jew and has ties to the KGBcharges that he vehemently denies. His anti-Semitism, the authors contend, is closer to that of Marx than Hitler, theoretical rather than visceral. Two photos presented here are revealing: In one, Zhirinovsky is humbly kissing the cross of an Orthodox priest; in another, he is seated at a stripper's club after attending an international conference in Helsinki. In the elections of December 1993, Zhirinovsky's misnamed Liberal Democratic Party garnered 24% of the popular vote. Was it a protest on the part of the Russians or, as the authors suggest, a rejection of democracy itself? The ``last poet of the Russian Empire,'' as the authors call him, Zhirinovsky clearly envisions himself as the savior of his people and many see him that way as well. While not an academic book, the text is enlivened with aphorisms from the great intellectuals of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Marx, Nietzsche, Kafka, Freud, and Gramsci, and spiced with the ancient wisdom of Russian proverbs and literature of Gogol, Pushkin, and others. An insightful and disturbing examination of a dictator-in-the- wings and the creation of a Russian form of fascism.

Pub Date: July 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-201-40948-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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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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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