A powerful and profound ``look into the nature and extent of judicial power under a written constitution of limited powers.'' Hickok (Law/Dickinson College) and McDowell (Visiting Scholar/Harvard Law School; Curbing the Courts, 1988, etc.—not reviewed) see modern federal litigation as a tool used by ideologically motivated litigants ``to supplant the status quo with new visions of the just society.'' Thus, federal courts have departed from their role as neutral arbiters of specific cases and controversies and have become ``places where abstract legal theories are pushed by this side and that.'' The authors begin by analyzing a 1989 Supreme Court case, DeShaney v. Winnebago County, in which the Court held that state social workers had no duty under federal statutory or constitutional law to protect a five-year-old from a brutally abusive father. Arguing compellingly that the DeShaney result was correct, the authors use the Court's steadfast and restrained adherence to law in the face of poignantly tragic facts as a device to make their central assertion: Courts exist not ``to exercise compassion in the name of justice'' or even to achieve just results, but simply to apply legal rules neutrally- -even when, as in DeShaney, the result offends conscience. Finally, Hickok and McDowell contend that the advent of government by the judiciary, abdication of Congressional responsibility, and the increasing litigiousness of society have vitiated popular government and diminished the democratic significance of citizenship. Conservative in the tradition of Bickel and Frankfurter, and echoing some of the arguments in Robert Bork's The Tempting of America (1990) and Walter K. Olson's The Litigation Explosion (1991). Hickok and McDowell won't convince believers in an activist judiciary, but they do make clear the dangers to democracy posed by rule by judicial decree.

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 1993

ISBN: 0-02-920529-8

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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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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