PANDAEMONIUM

ETHNICITY IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

A timely, informed plea from New York's senior US senator ``to make the world safe for and from ethnicity.'' Moynihan presented an early version of this material in November 1991 as a lecture at Oxford; he's updated that text with notes on such events as the ``ethnic cleansing'' occurring in Bosnia. There's a certain amount of self-congratulation here (guess which politician, virtually alone in the 80's, predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union while the ``realists'' wailed about the Red tide?), but, at his best, Moynihan displays erudition and a mastery of material. Both the American liberal belief in a melting pot and the Marxist belief in class solidarity, he shows, badly underestimated ``the persistence of ethnicity.'' Although a believer in Woodrow Wilson's notion of international law, he points out what a Pandora's box that visionary's concept of ``self- determination'' has proven. Not only did Wilson refuse to apply the concept to America's allies (notably regarding Britain's control of Ireland), but he was ignorant of the idea's presumed beneficiaries and fuzzy about what the term meant in the first place. Moynihan lucidly explains how Communists pushed self-determination for ethnic groups without reconciling this with an international proletarian movement; how the UN Charter has been bedeviled by contradictory clauses on self-determination and noninterference with nations' internal affairs; and how preferential policies for majorities and entrenched minorities, both abroad and at home, exacerbate intergroup conflict. Throughout, the senator's mordant observations on historical myopia are leavened with typically puckish wit (``For years Europeans asked: Why is there no Socialist movement in the United States? The answer may be that we knew better''). The latest in a series (On the Law of Nations, 1990, etc.) demonstrating that Moynihan may be America's foremost literary politician—someone who can advance policy as cogently on the written page as on the stump.

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-19-827787-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1993

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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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IN MY PLACE

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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