The title to this new book by one of our ablest historians is misleading, while the sub-title actually tells the story. From the angle of journalistic history this is an extraordinary piece of research, exploring the ramifications of opinion making and reportage during a period when revolution was in the making. One gets the climate of opinion, the step by step process by which the links with the mother country were weakened, the legislation in London, the new taxes, the various aspects of resistance, the outbreaks of violence — and their aftermath — all this as the stage against which the major part of the book dealing with the "newspaper war" is set. Then too he gives a flashback to the roots of journalism here- assuming, perhaps, more knowledge of the subject than the average reader possesses; and then goes forward to trace the reflection of revolution in the making in the newspapers, metropolitan, regional, village sheets, and all sorts and kinds of form in which news was distributed and opinion aired. Inevitably, one gets a certain amount of duplication, as one views events- such as the "Boston Massacre" — the "Boston Tea Party" — etc. etc. first from one viewpoint, then another. Tory sheets are given their due consideration. And the overall picture, when the various pieces fall into place, presents a new approach, and a penetrating one, to the ultimate goal of independence. . . . Not a major Schlesinger book, from the point of the general public, but a signal contribution to a specific area of interest.

Pub Date: June 15, 1957

ISBN: 0930350138

Page Count: 366

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1957

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?