Short, dense history that adds to the critical mass of understanding and remembering the past.



Kieran draws a piquant, thorough picture of the woeful but gallant retreat of the British army under the command of Sir John Moore before superior numbers of French soldiers.

In 1808, the British army ventured into Spain in an attempt to thwart Napoleon’s designs upon the peninsula. It was a disastrous military foray, one in which politicians had too big an influence. The British army, one-tenth the size of the French force, had expected assistance from the Spanish army, but that was wishful political thinking. Moore, the British officer who had made his name revolutionizing light infantry tactics, “wrote...of the weakness of the Spanish Army, the defenceless state of the country, the apathy of the people and the utter unreliability of the government.” He soon discovered that the operation was a logistical mess—no boots, no transport, no food—with the weather beyond abysmal: sleet, snow, freezing mud, etc. His “objective of saving the British Army” was reduced to disembarkation at Corunna. As the politicians bickered back home, Moore led an increasingly “turbulent and depraved” army through the dark, wintry Galicia Mountains, his men failing in discipline: “Moore tried to send the 95th forward but gave up in the end as they were so drunk.” However, with the gumption that came from knowing the French forces weren’t far behind, and were happy to carve you to pieces, they made it to port, engaged in an epic battle—during which Moore was fatally wounded—and made their escape. Kieran is a crisp, concise writer who tames the maddeningly complex operation: “Sir John Cradock was apprehensive when the French reached Badajos. Stewart was recalled in view of the danger from the French Forces at Badajos. Shortly thereafter the French were recalled to Madrid and crossed the River Tagus to join Napoleon.” There is a pleasing dash in Kieran’s writing—“Peril was about”—and by including photographs of medals won during the encounter, he brings a human touch to a battle now 200 years old.

Short, dense history that adds to the critical mass of understanding and remembering the past.

Pub Date: March 30, 2011

ISBN: 978-1452052472

Page Count: 92

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

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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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