A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.



Comedian and TV veteran Hughley drops an in-your-face mega-rant on the downward spiral of American culture.

The author’s debut is both serious and funny, without being seriously funny. But while the book may be short on belly laughs, Hughley has a strikingly original take on just about everything. Whether discussing fatherhood, the Democrats in Congress and their kid-gloved relationship with Obama, black stereotypes, growing up in South-Central Los Angeles or the negative influence of the NAACP, the author’s views are rarely predictable. Hughley’s own Horatio Alger success story is compelling enough: rising from the violent streets of LA to successful sales rep at the Los Angeles Times, all while holding together a family and making a name for himself as a standup comedian. Unlike many contemporary entertainers, Hughley prides himself on being unafraid of controversy. He recounts how his championing of free speech over political correctness led him to support Don Imus’ racial slur toward the Rutgers women’s basketball team—or at least his right to make those slurs. The author looks at the undeniable truths in racial stereotyping and the importance of acknowledging these truths. In fact, he uses this topic as a jumping-off point to lambast the NAACP for helping ruin mainstream black TV. Although he almost always finds a nuanced angle in presenting his outspoken opinions, it’s sometimes difficult to know where comedic provocation ends and deadly earnestness begins. Yet his views on marriage, women and kids seem strangely unhinged and harsh compared to the cool approach that makes the book so appealing throughout—e.g., “If they [women] want to make a man like them, then they should try shutting the fuck up once in a while.” But to his credit, Hughley’s a hard-line pragmatist whose brash opinions almost always transcend polarized black/white and liberal/conservative comfort zones.

A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-98623-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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