Ozick is perceptive as usual, but these often seem like old war-horses revisiting familiar battlefields.

QUARREL AND QUANDARY

ESSAYS

Ozick's new collection of essays from such magazines as The New Republic and The American Scholar thoughtfully explores the delicately calibrated and often adversarial tensions that affect the relation between art and politics.

In her foreword, the author admits to resisting the political, but suggests that in writing on such highly politicized figures as Anne Frank and the Unabomber, she might have "willfully entered the lists of tenet and exigency." While George Orwell may have been right that the claim that "art had nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude," Ozick nevertheless resists those who chide Jane Austen for not criticizing British Imperial policy. Two notable pieces, "Who Owns Anne Frank?" and "Public Intellectuals," provocatively explore these two opposing positions. The first is a quiet but impassioned objection to the way Anne Frank's life (especially in the dramatized version of her diary) has been transformed into a universal message of hope and forgiveness that ignores the reality of evil. In Ozick's opinion, it might have been better if the diary had never been found. In the second, she chides E.M. Forster for making "art for art's sake" the theme of a speech he delivered at a writer's conference in 1941—as war raged in Europe. Two personal essays, "A Drugstore Eden" and "How I Got Fired From My Summer Job," are, respectively, an affectionate recollection of reading in the hammock behind her father's drugstore, and a wryly humorous account of misunderstandings and differing expectations. In other notable essays she compares Dostoevsky, a former radical, with the Unabomber; notes that the movie of Henry James's Portrait of a Lady is inferior to the novel, and again, referring often to James, explores an artist's need to be selfish.

Ozick is perceptive as usual, but these often seem like old war-horses revisiting familiar battlefields.

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2000

ISBN: 0-375-41061-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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