Many readers will find something to like in this grab bag but also much to skim or pass over.



The collected essays/blog posts of a retired journalist, reflecting upon America and its quirks, foibles, and disasters.

Debut author Karey presents readers a mixed bag of essays from his titular blog. It begins with the emigration of his Jewish grandmother from Russian-controlled Polish territory to the United States about a century ago and concludes with his reflections on recent events, such as what he sees as oil companies’ degradation of the American environment. In between, he tackles a motley assortment of subjects, including travel, sports, politics, global warming, singing cowboys, religion, and guns. He attacks the National Rifle Association and America’s culture of gun violence, scolds conservative icons such as political commentator Bill O’Reilly and former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, and takes stands for Israel and against anti-Semitism. The collection also includes essays on nonpolitical aspects of American culture interspersed with photos showing members of Karey’s family and their friends as well as ephemera, such as a threatening letter the author’s father received from the U.S. government during the anti-communism hysteria of the early 1950s. He winds up the book with a baker’s dozen of miscellaneous essays dealing with everything from the month of November to apples, rabbits, French actor Gérard Depardieu, and Russia. The author is at his best when he uses easygoing humor to examine the unsung, the overlooked, and the obscure, such as a baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals who got only one at-bat in the major leagues and struck out. Some of Karey’s analytical journalism is powerful and on-target, too, such as his attack on the former chief executive officer of British Petroleum, John Browne, who he says was responsible for his company’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But Karey’s takes on many other issues aren’t particularly enlightening, such as his characterizations of O’Reilly as a “blowhard,” for instance, and Bachmann as “a dark stain on the body politic.” Although he doesn’t include the dates of his blog posts, it’s clear that many have since gone stale; few readers may care about the fiscal cliff, for instance. Such are the perils of blogs, which, in their way, are even more ephemeral than print journalism. Still, Karey writes well enough, and his heart’s in the right place.

Many readers will find something to like in this grab bag but also much to skim or pass over.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-937650-44-5

Page Count: 414

Publisher: Small Batch Books

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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

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