Author of several regional travel guides, Scheer, a radio disc jockey, spent six weeks traveling nearly 14,000 miles on Amtrak. What, he asked, remains of the grand old traditions of railway passenger service? This wonderful account shows that the excitement and romance haven't entirely vanished. Setting out from Greensboro, N.C., aboard the New Orleans- bound Crescent, Scheer planned to ride as many routes as possible and booked a variety of accommodations, from coach to Superliner sleepers. He rode trains with names that ring with the history of the rails: the City of New Orleans; the California Zephyr; the Sunset Limited. Rich with observations on his fellow travelers, trainmen, and attendants, and his descriptions of the countryside and towns and cities, Scheer's personal and historical asides, his architectural and technological tidbits, lift this well beyond mere travelogue. Most importantly, his running history of the development of railroads, depots, styles of cars and engines demonstrates more than a fan's passion for train lore. Though he catalogues a typical traveler's list of bad meals, cramped quarters, and sleepless nights, he offsets the negatives with his delight in the occasional fine dish or comfortable berth. He completed the first two thirds of the trip at a rather leisurely pace, with time out for stops to bicycle around New Orleans, to walk around St. Louis, to visit an old fishing buddy in Austin, to bomb around L.A. in a 1970 Plymouth, to take side trips out of Santa Fe to Cimarron and Taos, and to stop at McDonald Creek in Glacier National Park in the middle of a blizzard to watch migrating bald eagles feed on spawning kokanee salmon. The final third of the journey—from Chicago back to Greensboro via Montreal—was crammed into 11 days on 10 different trains, and is given only short shift here. Like Richard B. McAdoo's Eccentric Circles (p.34), which revealed an unexpected richness in RV travel, Scheer's zesty report points to an attractive alternative to the drudgery of car travel and the dizzying, impersonal hop from airport to airport. (Maps—not seen.)

Pub Date: April 20, 1991

ISBN: 0-945575-40-8

Page Count: -

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1991

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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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