Powerful examination of Stalin's infamous WW II campaign against Poland's professional and middle classes, exemplified by the 1940 execution (denied by the Soviets until 1990) of most of Poland's officer corps in the Katy Forest and at still-unknown sites. The Katy Forest massacre, in which 15,000 Polish officers held by the Bolsheviks were shot by the NKVD, has become the ``complex symbol of Polish suffering at the hands of Stalin,'' argues Paul, who began his research at the Center for European Studies in Bologna, Italy, under the auspices of Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Advanced International Studies. Using US Congressional testimony released only in 1989, buttressed by extensive interviews with survivors, Paul claims to present the most definitive view to date of Katy, blending historical reportage with narratives of three families caught up in Stalin's crimes. Indeed, for 50 years the story was buried not only by the Soviets but by Western governments, which concealed knowledge of Soviet guilt to protect their relationships with the USSR. Paul presents evidence of Stalin's one-word written order, ``Liquidate,'' which led to the murders, then details Soviet attempts to deny knowledge of the atrocity and, later, to blame the Nazis for it (after the Germans discovered some of the mass graves, the Nazis sought to propagandize the crime in order to divide the Allies). According to Paul, Stalin even manipulated the discovery ``to deal the legitimate government of Poland a lethal blow'' and set up a puppet regime. Moreover, Paul says, during the war years, the Soviets deported to Siberia and other harsh climes more than a million middle-class Poles, many of whom ``perished from starvation, forced labor and neglect.'' Well researched and ably written: a fine and harrowing study. (Eight-page photo insert—not seen.)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-684-19215-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1991

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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