A tempering treatise, one hopes, for those rushing to make war on Iran—and an education for those trying to stop them.

READ REVIEW

MIRRORS OF THE UNSEEN

JOURNEYS IN IRAN

Does Iran belong on the list of rogue nations? Absolutely not, British journalist Elliot urges in this virtuoso work.

True, its government is wacky. But Iran, despite mullahs and religious police, is not monolithic, as the author discovers early on in his four-year journey across the vast nation; says one weary beauty he meets (one of many), “Here in Iran we lead a double life. . . . Understand that, and you will understand everything.” Yet younger Iranians born long after the Khomeini revolution seem less and less inclined to toe the line, and even older ones with long memories of repression now seem intent on securing azadi—freedom. Elliot (An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan, 2000) cannot help but address politics, for political matters are on everyone’s lips. But his real interests lie in the culture, in the sense of both everyday life and the finer matters of history and the arts. One of his explorations takes him into traditional art, which he puzzles out at different turns (“it is difficult to suppose that an art as prolific and expert as that of the Islamic world was driven by no more than a desire to impress the eye alone”), eventually linking it to the mysteries of mathematics, at which the Persians once excelled. Though fascinated by the past, the author has a knack for meeting characters, often eccentric, who tell just the right stories: an American expatriate quietly breeding miniature horses thought extinct; a brilliant conversationalist recalling the day an Iraqi missile crashed through the roof of her Tehran kitchen; assorted taxi drivers, hoteliers and intellectuals revealing essential aspects of the national character. What the reader learns of Iran is mostly positive, but by no means sugar-coated; some of the adventures presented here are for the stout-hearted only.

A tempering treatise, one hopes, for those rushing to make war on Iran—and an education for those trying to stop them.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2006

ISBN: 0-312-30191-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

IN MY PLACE

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more