This paste-up of aphorisms, punditry, and Joycean puns takes a few cliches and splices them with McLuhanist motifs and updatings. "Brainstorming," the fad of the '50's; the hoary "managerial revolution" said to supersede old-fashioned profit criteria; the "end of ideology" cant — these are spruced up with day-glo reflections on the Cornfeld-conglomerate-bullish period whose demise the authors conveniently overlook. If taken seriously, the book is insulting in its illiterate — oops, grating — references to Keynes and its "post-industrial" platitudes: electronics has made specialization and efficiency obsolete; employer and employee "merge as audience"; data-processing erases blue-white collar distinctions; money "as such" has become "information only"; and (for those curious about the subtitle) "aware executives" will become generalists. The hyperbole would be forgivable if it didn't exaggerate stale misconceptions about prosperity and automation and cybernation ending social conflict and the survival-oriented way of life for business and labor — i.e. the American sociological orthodoxy of the '50's and early '60's. This is only worth noting because McLuhanism is considered somehow essentially avant-garde, though of course its trendy bloom has faded. In fact, it has elements of classic conservative-reactionary ideology — for example, continued efforts to epater the analytic mind; doctrinal praise for the "oral" and "acoustic" over the "visual"; and the trite but telling equation of the "tribal," the "non-literate," the non-rational, and the unconnected. McLuhan himself is not reactionary in any obvious sense; rather he's a good-natured celebrant of "the new software information age" as opposed to the hard, grubby industrial society he says has vanished, taking the new strobe-light atmosphere for a new order (or disorder) of things.
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)