Despite its quirks, a worthy addition to the reference library. Of potential use to law students and professors, lawyers and...

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THE AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

KEY TERMS AND MAJOR COURT CASES, THIRD EDITION

A straightforward, alphabetized compendium of approximately 5,000 terms, proper names and concepts.

About halfway through, the format changes to a rundown of especially significant U.S. Supreme Court rulings concerning crime and punishment. Backmatter includes an index, bibliography of print resources, key web addresses, doctoral programs in criminal justice, federal and state probation, parole and prison agencies. Champion, a criminal justice professor at Texas A&M International University, favors breadth over depth. He makes it clear that his reference book is no substitute for Black's Law Dictionary or for in-depth research about individuals, institutions and issues. The first dictionary entry is “ABA models of court organization,” and the last is “Zylon,” a fabric used in body armor worn by law enforcement officers. The Zylon entry suggests the comprehensiveness of the reference book, but also demonstrates Champion's tendency to overextend himself. Do presumably sophisticated readers need to be told that body armor used by police is meant “to protect them from bullets during shooting incidents”? And what is the purpose of mentioning the names of two corporations that manufacture Zylon? Still, better too much than too little in a reference book–most entries educate and fascinate. Indeed, how many readers will know that lawyer Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970), author of the bestselling Perry Mason novels, “originated [the] Court of Last Resort, an organization that assisted persons believed to be wrongfully convicted of crimes”?

Despite its quirks, a worthy addition to the reference library. Of potential use to law students and professors, lawyers and laypersons alike.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-931719-33-0

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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