Wonderful splashes of ice water to chill the hearts and dampen the enthusiasm of the most die-hard environmentalists. Budiansky, a senior writer at US News and World Report, takes to task the naive ``greens,'' doctrinaire Sierra Club types, and even such icons as E.O. ``Biodiversity'' Wilson for their reverence for wildness and the wisdom of nature, in contrast to the intrusions of modern man. Never was and never will be a benign rule of a Mother Nature dedicated to harmony and balance, Budiansky avers. In North America alone thousands of years of the Indian practice of burning fields changed the landscape, creating prairies from woodlands. In turn, the interventions of weather, temperature, natural fires, population dynamics, what-have-you, changed prairies into woodlands, caused species to go extinct, and led to the import of hundreds of ``exotics''non-native flora and fauna that have been around for so long, you'd never know they were imports. Much of the book is devoted to delicious iconoclasm, with Budiansky attacking conventional ecological wisdom such as the ``climax'' theory, which speaks to the natural succession of generations of shrubs and saplings that leads to the so-called mature ``climax'' old hardwood forest. Not sofor the various reasons cited above. We even learn that clear-cutting may not be the devil it's made out to bethat varying-aged clear-cut fields can allow for the development of varying shade-resistant and shade-tolerant woodland species and thus preserve some manner of diversity. Budiansky cites numerous examples of better land management that makes use of meticulously collected data to enter into more complex equations with some predictive value. Whether it's a grouse crash in England or the current successful restoration of tallgrass to highway and street verges in Chicagowhere there's a will to understand what happened, there appears to be a rational way. Expect fierce outcries from the Walden crowd.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 1995

ISBN: 0-02-904915-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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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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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