THE PEOPLE VS. BIG TOBACCO

HOW THE STATES TOOK ON THE CIGARETTE GIANTS

An eye-opening look at the news behind the news in America's landmark legal pursuit of Big Tobacco. This well-researched and well-crafted book details exactly how the tobacco industry, which generates about $200 billion a year in revenues and, not insignificantly, is one of the largest political donors, was brought to its knees. Last spring 40 state attorneys general made US history when they announced the first-ever settlement with the heretofore omnipotent tobacco industry. According to the June settlement, the industry will pay $368.5 billion toward smoking-related medical care over the next several years. The settlement also opens the door for Food and Drug Administration regulation of nicotine by 2009 and penalizes the industry if teen smoking doesn't decline. Perhaps most significantly, the settlement marks the first time tobacco executives have openly admitted what the American smoking public has known for years—that tobacco is addictive. Written by members of the original Bloomberg News reporting team that first broke the settlement story (Mollenkamp, Adam Levy, Joseph Menn, Jeffrey Rothfeder), the book weaves together several vital subplots that ultimately made tobacco executives realize that, to paraphrase a once-popular cigarette slogan, it was better to switch their strategies than fight. Confidential records leaks, whistle-blower defections, the reelection of a vocal anti-tobacco president, the hubris of tobacco executives, who outraged Americans by testifying before Congress that tobacco is not addictive—as related here, all these events and more conspired to make tobacco's downfall seem inevitable. The book includes a chronology as well as the official text of the June 20, 1997, settlement. Part thriller, part legal primer, and full of trenchant drama and personalities, this book should be mandatory reading for all congressional representatives pondering how they'll vote on the future of the tobacco industry in America. (16 pages b&w photos)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-57660-057-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1997

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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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

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