Grim biography of Rome's greatest monster, Caligula (A.D. 12- 41). Ferrill (History/Univ. of Washington) dismisses the Caligula of Lloyd C. Douglas's The Robe, Robert Graves's I, Claudius, Bob Guccione's X-rated film, and J.P.V.D. Balsdon's The Emperor Gaius (1934) as largely bad jobs, and argues that Anthony Barrett's Caligula: The Corruption of Power (1989) rationalizes that Caligula ``was not insane and that he was intelligent.'' Not so, Ferrill insists: Caligula was as mad as mad can be. He sees the young prince coddled and treated almost as a god since birth. As a child, Caligula knew much terror, with his father apparently being poisoned and his mother forever raving against the emperor. Caligula was not in direct line for the crown, but political machinations (by others, not himself) landed him in the purple. Before that, he seduced his two younger sisters, then went to live with Uncle Tiberius, the emperor, on Capri, where Tiberius reveled as a wildly inventive sex maniac. At Tiberius's death, a Praetorian slipped Caligula in as emperor, and for his first six months the young emperor was well liked for his insane generosity. He fell sick briefly, and upon his recovery joy turned to civil terror. Murder was the least of his sins and the smart died first. He had one senator's body chopped up before him. At parties he had sex with anyone's wife, with the husband attending. He deified his dead sister, and tried to have his own statue put into Jewish temples, which would have caused civil war had he not been assassinated. And that's only a skim of his crimes. Feels padded even at 184 pages, and Ferrill's dismissiveness of others grates and does not make for happy reading. (Twenty-two illustrations and copious footnotes—not seen.)

Pub Date: June 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-500-25112-6

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1991

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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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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