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In 1965, the so-widely-respected (aber hier so-awkwardly-translated) German author Gunter Grass hit the campaign trail in support of Social Democrat Willy Brandt's bid for the Chancellorship. In the speeches and subsequent commentary now collected, he attacks the fat-bodied, fat-headed ruling Christian Democrats for encouraging the public to worship the "Golden Calf known as the Economic Miracle," while excusing the continued prominence of former Nazis in government. At the same time, Grass criticizes young radicals and writers on the Left for substituting "rhythmic stamping and... loud cries of 'Ho Chi Minh'" for work toward pragmatic reforms attainable through "solid, colorless Social Democracy." But what reforms? And how attained? Grass, a moralist rather than a political thinker, rarely spells out the ends or the means. Nor does he probe the appeal of any of the movements — from radical Left to radical Right — which he opposes here. The American reader who turns to this volume for an understanding of German political life will consequently be disappointed, as Grass' German followers may have been, if they sought inspiration from this novelist. Fittingly, this middle-of-the-road statement of faith bears a laudatory introduction from Michael Harrington, another worthy Old Leftist somewhat out of touch with contemporary unheavals.

Pub Date: May 21, 1969

ISBN: 0156847167

Page Count: -

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1969

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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