TENNOZAN

THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA AND THE DROPPING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB

From Feifer (Our Motherland, 1974, etc.)—a fully considered, well-told account of perhaps the greatest land-sea-air engagement ever: the 1945 battle of Okinawa. Japan had lost the war by the time this ``Tennozan'' (decisive battle) was fought, but Japanese pride was still alive and the majestic, universally admired Yamato, the greatest capital ship of its time and symbol of Japanese aspiration, was still afloat. How the Yamato, as well as a quarter-million lives (more than half of them Okinawan civilians), was lost forms the core of Feifer's story. It opens with Hirohito making some remarks that are taken to mean that the Yamato must be risked; it ends with Truman's decision to use the atomic bomb. In between come B-29s, with their saturation bombing; the incineration of civilians and the decimation of an unspoiled, gracious, Okinawan culture appreciated for its generosity by both Japanese and Americans; and a samurai stand that was as incomprehensible to Americans then as Japanese industrial dominance is today. Feifer brings this epic to life largely through sharp, telling anecdotes and a remarkable ability to comprehend and express the ways and values of other cultures. He has researched particular Okinawans, Japanese, and Americans, from generals to civilians, and the details of their lives in this wartime hell make for powerful reading. The war, Feifer points out, would have gotten far worse if America had invaded Japan; so his pages, evoking the taste and smell of war, make the best possible case for Truman's decision to drop the Bomb. A thoughtful, humane, and readable history that brings the reader very close to this epic battle, the three cultures involved, and what it was like for the men and women who lived—or died- -through it. (Photographs—40 b&w, one color—not seen.)

Pub Date: May 27, 1992

ISBN: 0-395-59924-5

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

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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