A minor contribution to the academic literature, although likely to interest social-science students.




An arid sociological treatise on race as an “important social fact” in the postwar world.

Winant (Sociology/Temple Univ.) examines the emergence of racial politics and various civil-rights movements in the modern US, Brazil, South Africa, and nations of the European Union. He hypothesizes that shifts in the post-WWII geopolitical balance of power (especially the rise of decolonization, migration, and national liberation movements) pushed racial politics to the forefront around the world, demolishing the status quo everywhere; in almost every major social upheaval since 1945, he holds, the issue of race was central. In describing these upheavals, the author sheds light on a few contemporary matters, such as the rapidly changing face of European politics in the wake of massive migrations from North Africa and Asia. He does little, however, to formulate an overarching theory of racial politics or to develop a comparative overview that explains why Brazilian race relations differ from those of the US, say, or Holland. Contrary to the subtitle, much of the narrative here is given over to an analysis of 19th-century historical trends and movements (among them colonialism, imperialism, and abolitionism), and the author does not improve on less theoretical but better-grounded historical studies such as Eugene Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll (not reviewed) and Hugh Thomas’s The Slave Trade (1997), to say nothing of such contemporary sociological work as Cornel West’s provocative Race Matters (1993). Also, Winant’s less-than-startling conclusions are couched in the jargon of the trade (“Early imperialisms balanced their accumulative economic aspirations—both as states and as a range of proto-capitalist enterprises—with politically and culturally regulatory agendas”), which makes for tedious reading indeed.

A minor contribution to the academic literature, although likely to interest social-science students.

Pub Date: July 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-465-04345-2

Page Count: 564

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2001

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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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