Wide-ranging examination of the human voice, drawing on the fields of anatomy, child development, linguistics, psychology, anthropology and cultural studies.
Karpf (The War After, not reviewed), a British journalist, BBC broadcaster and sociologist, delved into the professional literature on the subject and conducted some 50 interviews with people about their own voices and those of their friends and relatives. In her view, the voice deserves close study because it helps define us as human beings. In her words, “As animals with smell, so are humans with voices.” She explains the evolution of the vocal apparatus and discusses pitch, volume, tempo and modulation. She looks at the impact of the mother’s voice on her unborn child and how different voices are employed in different contexts—e.g., speaking to children, pets, colleagues, members of the opposite sex, et al.—and she explores the impact of culture and gender on the voice, the differences in men’s and women’s voices, how these are changing and what these differences and changes reveal about societies. Her interviews uncover people’s feelings about their own voices, how they use their voices and what they like and dislike about other people’s voices. Especially interesting is her analysis of the voices of political leaders, from Hitler, FDR and Churchill, to Bush, Gore and Kerry; her conclusion: Rhetoric is dead, and success now requires sounding like a buddy.
An entertaining account packed with fascinating facts.
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").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)