Aside from the fulsome hero-worship, Shore provides solid information on malaria research, along with provocative views on...

READ REVIEW

THE IMAGINATIONS OF UNREASONABLE MEN

INSPIRATION, VISION, AND PURPOSE IN THE QUEST TO END MALARIA

Share Our Strength founder Shore (The Light of Conscience: How a Simple Act Can Change Your Life, 2004, etc.) examines a handful of philanthropic innovators in the fight against malaria.

The author profiles the imaginative and unreasonable men and women who are battling malaria around the world. He looks closely at Steve Hoffman, who heads a private firm developing a whole but weakened malaria parasite vaccine. The steps require breeding mosquitoes infected with the parasite, dissecting out the parasites from the insects’ salivary glands, irradiating them, assuring they are free of contaminants and then preserving them for use as inoculants to trigger an immune response. It’s an impressive technological feat, but the praise heaped on Hoffman is off-putting, as are the author’s frequent repetitions of data and background information. While Shore emphasizes a malaria vaccine as the Holy Grail, he admires an innovator who is using microbes to generate inexpensive versions of artemisinin, a current treatment. Nor does he disparage RTS,S, another vaccine candidate currently in trials in Africa, or the use of insecticide-treated bed nets. But issues remain, including the need for good governance, infrastructure and education in the African countries most afflicted by the disease—dilemmas ably chronicled by Sonia Shah in The Fever (2010). There are also significant scientific hurdles, as too little is understood about malaria immunity. Hoffman’s vaccine passed safety tests but has yet to prove efficacious. Finally, Shore writes that we need to rethink philanthropy. There’s no question that Bill Gates has been an important player, but Shore argues that nonprofits must become less dependent on donors and more self-sustaining by being market-oriented. He cites achievements of a nonprofit pharmaceutical company developing drugs for neglect diseases and Hoffman’s intention of marketing his vaccine to tourists and the military while making it available in poor countries.

Aside from the fulsome hero-worship, Shore provides solid information on malaria research, along with provocative views on “social entrepreneurship.”

Pub Date: Nov. 23, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-58648-764-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

A LITTLE HISTORY OF POETRY

A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

more