All this from an author who admits, “I am a chicken historian who does not actually like eating chicken,” but who finds the...

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TASTES LIKE CHICKEN

A HISTORY OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE BIRD

In her first book, a food historian with a feature writer’s flair illuminates the culinary history of the now-ubiquitous chicken.

Though the chicken would seem to be a subject that everybody knows about, Rude makes the humble bird’s story fresh and interesting on nearly every page. “Painted in broad strokes,” writes the author in the introduction, “this is a story of agricultural science and human health, of the economics of feeding a nation and the politics that encircle the making and eating of a food. But on a more intimate level, this is really just the story of dinner.” From chicken soup to chicken nuggets and from “chicken” as a synonym for coward to “a chicken in every pot” as a campaign slogan for prosperity, Rude covers chicken from practically every possible angle and perspective, showing how the bird that was once used mainly for its eggs and feathers now outdistances beef and pork (the “Other White Meat”) in American preference and how it has gone from a high-priced extravagance to a mass-produced bargain. Readers will learn about the 1920s “great Chicken Wars” that rivaled bootlegging in their bloodshed, about the “millions of mail-order chicks” delivered by the postal service, and about the development of “chicken eyewear” and even contact lenses to prevent the birds from pecking each other to death. There’s an unsung hero in Robert Baker, the “poultry savant, a chicken Thomas Edison,” whose legacy extends to the Chicken McNuggets boom, and Rude offers an intriguing analysis of the cross-cultural relationship between Colonel Sanders (beloved in China and Japan) and General Tso. There is also a more serious examination of the “deadly risks” in the mass production of chicken, including E. coli and salmonella.

All this from an author who admits, “I am a chicken historian who does not actually like eating chicken,” but who finds the bird as fascinating as she makes it for readers.

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68177-163-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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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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