THE SMART MAGAZINES

50 YEARS OF LITERARY REVELRY AND HIGH JINKS AT VANITY FAIR, THE NEW YORKER, LIFE, ESQUIRE AND THE SMART SET

The nation's most brilliant magazines in the first four decades of the 20th century, presented with style by the author of the sprightly Women of the 20s (1986). Douglas begins in the 1890's, with magazines that depended on circulation and kept their advertising to dull, cramped columns in the back pages. But as the US changed from a rural to urban society, he explains, advertising came to such bold and vivid new life that some magazines could have been given away free and still have shown big profits. The Smart Set took over from the notorious New York society weekly Town Topics, whose literary pages alternated with ``an unbridled appetite for salacious chatter and slander''—it was published by Colonel William D'Alton Mann, a blackmailer. In 1906, the young iconoclasts H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan were brought on board as book and theater reviewers and eventually became joint editors with the principal objective of giving all young ``literary bucks and wenches'' a place to show off their work. Their ten years of editorship brought first-class writers such as Willa Cather and F. Scott Fitzgerald into the fold; they finally left to found their own literary magazine, The American Mercury. On the other hand, Douglas explains, gentlemanly Frank Crowninshield's Vanity Fair was avant-garde, distinctive, and appealed to a sophisticated elite—and yet in 1915 topped all magazines for advertising. Vanity Fair was New York, and its three leading literary wits—Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Robert E. Sherwood—founded the Algonquin Round Table. In some ways, ``hobo newspaperman'' Harold Ross's New Yorker displaced Vanity Fair, while Arnold Gingrich's overnight sensation, Esquire—featuring fact-pieces by Hemingway—prompted Vanity Fair's publisher to merge it with Vogue. Zesty, but not overly spiced.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-208-02309-7

Page Count: 242

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more