BODY COUNT

MORAL POVERTY . . . AND HOW TO WIN AMERICA'S WAR AGAINST CRIME AND DRUGS

Virtuecrats Bennett and gang haul in the usual suspects in this flat-footed, statistic-heavy collection of warmed-over nostrums. If the doomsayers are right, we are soon in for the mother of all crime waves, as the Baby Boomers' offspring enter their dangerous late teens. Conjoined with the general decline in moral values, community, and sobriety, these teenagers will be horrifingly violent, cold-blooded ``super predators'' bent on mayhem for mayhem's sake. But don't despair: Bennett (The Moral Compass, 1995, etc.), Princeton professor DiIulio, and Walters, the executive director of the Council on Crime in America, have the answers: Restrict alcohol, ratchet up the war on drugs, increase prison sentences, make adoption easier, provide youth with positive role models, improve education, and above all, revive religious faith. To back up their tough-minded prescriptions, they've dredged up all the right corroborating statistics. While their findings are generally convincing—if not downright obvious—the authors could use a refresher course on the abuse and misuse of statistics; for instance, having cited various studies on the correlation of alcohol use and crime, they appropriately warn readers that there is no proof of a causal relationship; but they then do a backflip, citing mere ``common sense'' to support such a relationship. However, they do succeed in exploding several of the more popular canards about crime, including the frequently made assertion that our prisons are filled with nonviolent drug offenders and that poverty is the root cause of criminality. Despite the authors' desire to appear contrarian, most of the recommendations in this book (except the call for a renewed war on drugs) are squarely in the mainstream of modern criminological thought. But then, the virtue industry has never made a virtue of originality. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection; national television/radio satellite tours)

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 1996

ISBN: 0-684-83225-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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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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