A compelling though unpolished analysis of racially motivated workplace harassment and its potential remedies.

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Corporate America & The N-Word

A bleak recounting of harassment endured by African-Americans in the workplace over the last two decades.

In this debut nonfiction book, Rodney leads readers through several lawsuits filed in the 1990s and 2000s regarding egregious examples of racially motivated workplace harassment. Quoting heavily from depositions and trial records, Rodney, himself an African-American, presents one environment after another in which workers were subjected to racial slurs, hazing, and threatened and actual violence that went unchecked by supervisors and made their jobs unpleasant and often dangerous. In many cases, trial judges expressed skepticism toward plaintiffs, concluded that the harassment did not constitute a hostile work environment, or found that the employer was not responsible for the results, though Rodney takes note of the several cases in which the victims successfully appealed. Though the vivid details drawn from witness testimonies help bring immediacy to the stories, the narrative suffers from a tendency to overuse ellipses when quoting (“Compensatory damages ‘…are awarded...for plaintiff injuries...as a result of...actions of the defendant e.g., lost wages...mental anguish...pain and suffering...’ ”) as well as frequently unclear prose: “My apprehension toward the ‘nexus between the defendants and the trier of facts’ expressed in the introduction of this book are not appropriate regarding Judge Kobayashi’s management of this case.” Likewise, the decisions to omit a complete bibliography and cite such materials as “Spriggs brief” and “Hilton Memorandum” make it difficult to track down the original sources. The book concludes with a series of guidelines for African-Americans, white allies, and potentially hostile individuals, as well as public policy recommendations designed to improve the regulatory and judicial responses to workplace harassment, which would ideally result in a system more responsive to human needs. While drawing a detailed portrait of a system that does not currently have an adequate response to egregious violations of basic decency, Rodney reminds readers that such harassment is not merely a series of isolated incidents or confined to the reaches of history.

A compelling though unpolished analysis of racially motivated workplace harassment and its potential remedies.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-0578154145

Page Count: 338

Publisher: The Brownlow Group LLC

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2015

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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

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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