An impressively sober and fair-minded analysis.

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The Holistic Manifesto

CENTRE-LEFT POLICIES FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

A comprehensive center-left political platform that addresses the worsening problem of economic inequality.

Inequality is perennially a hot topic, but debates about it reached a fever pitch during the recent election season. Debut author and economist Anthony argues that inequality could potentially lead to electoral gains for a center-left political coalition, but a steady loss of constituent support has resulted instead. In this book, the author articulates a remarkably comprehensive program that includes a series of economic remedies and a campaign strategy. He begins with a brief synopsis of modern economic theory, featuring paragraph-length summaries of the work of such economic thinkers as Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. Then he explains the sources of inequality, noting that the Ronald Reagan/Margaret Thatcher revolution ushered in lowered tax rates, diminished welfare spending, resulted in wide-scale deregulation and privatization, and unleashed the forces of globalization. His recommendations are ambitiously thorough, covering everything from fiscal policy to food distribution. Problematically, this comprehensiveness results in a lack of rigorously considered detail; as the title suggests, this is a manifesto, not an academic white paper. Anthony could have cut a section that breezily covers philosophical arguments against inequality, which is both gratuitous and too intellectually slight to convince detractors. Also, the book acknowledges but insufficiently discusses some central economic problems; for instance, Anthony concedes that the concept of a living wage is vague, but he also recommends its institution without providing much guidance on the proper amount. Finally, some proposals are too controversial for just a few sentences of clarification; for example, the author suggests that media proprietors could be “directly targeted” and essentially threatened for more favorable coverage, and the efficacy, as well as the legitimacy, of such an aggressive approach is far from obvious. Still, this is an admirably nonpartisan account of the problem of inequality, especially given that its entire economic program is couched in a political platform. It should be edifying not only for readers who share Anthony’s politics, but also for those who are reflexively opposed to them.

An impressively sober and fair-minded analysis.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2016

ISBN: 9781483455099

Page Count: 249

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Dec. 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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