A savvy audit of the Bundesbank, which, the author observes, ``has replaced the Wehrmacht as Germany's best-known and most feared institution.'' Marsh (chief European correspondent for London's Financial Times; The Germans, 1990) offers an accessible, often absorbing, appraisal of the Federal Republic's Frankfurt-based central bank, whose ``anti-inflationary rectitude'' has made it a power to be reckoned with in global finance. After a chatty briefing on those now running the show, the author provides a detailed rundown on the Bundesbank's predecessors, most notably the Reichsbank that was put out of business in 1945. Allied forces created a transitional replacement in what was then West Germany; in 1957, Bonn established the Bundesbank as a politically independent entity that, at least in theory, isn't accountable to other agencies of federal or state government. Given its role as guardian of the deutsche mark, its statutory right to set interest rates, and Germany's post-WW II emergence as an economic colossus, the Bundesbank wields unrivaled influence over domestic policy. In turn, the strength of the D-mark has given the FRB-like institution worldwide clout. But although invariably effective, the Bundesbank is by no means infallible, and Marsh leaves little doubt that great demands will be placed on its capacities in the period immediately ahead—in particular, he cites the challenges posed by German reunification and by the integration of Europe's monetary systems. The author is more sanguine about the bank's ability to unify a formerly partitioned Fatherland than about its willingness to support a union in which EC counterparts might not be as committed to currency stability as the Bundesbank is. A perceptive evaluation of a pivotal financial institution that's been overtaken by events it helped precipitate.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-2158-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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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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