A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.



Comedian and TV veteran Hughley drops an in-your-face mega-rant on the downward spiral of American culture.

The author’s debut is both serious and funny, without being seriously funny. But while the book may be short on belly laughs, Hughley has a strikingly original take on just about everything. Whether discussing fatherhood, the Democrats in Congress and their kid-gloved relationship with Obama, black stereotypes, growing up in South-Central Los Angeles or the negative influence of the NAACP, the author’s views are rarely predictable. Hughley’s own Horatio Alger success story is compelling enough: rising from the violent streets of LA to successful sales rep at the Los Angeles Times, all while holding together a family and making a name for himself as a standup comedian. Unlike many contemporary entertainers, Hughley prides himself on being unafraid of controversy. He recounts how his championing of free speech over political correctness led him to support Don Imus’ racial slur toward the Rutgers women’s basketball team—or at least his right to make those slurs. The author looks at the undeniable truths in racial stereotyping and the importance of acknowledging these truths. In fact, he uses this topic as a jumping-off point to lambast the NAACP for helping ruin mainstream black TV. Although he almost always finds a nuanced angle in presenting his outspoken opinions, it’s sometimes difficult to know where comedic provocation ends and deadly earnestness begins. Yet his views on marriage, women and kids seem strangely unhinged and harsh compared to the cool approach that makes the book so appealing throughout—e.g., “If they [women] want to make a man like them, then they should try shutting the fuck up once in a while.” But to his credit, Hughley’s a hard-line pragmatist whose brash opinions almost always transcend polarized black/white and liberal/conservative comfort zones.

A solid combination of a street-tough attitude and a keen grasp of social and political hot-button issues.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-98623-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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