An alternative, conspiratorial retelling of major events of the last 75 years, from the authors of Unholy Trinity (1992). Former Justice Department Nazi-hunter Loftus and Australian journalist Aarons would have us believe that much of recent Western history has had as its common theme ``Get the Jews.'' However, they are far more convincing in arguing that the underlying motivations for most of the evil plots they describe were fanatical anti- communism and/or greed; Jews—mostly pre-1948 Zionists and post- 1948 Israelis—sometimes got in the way. Thus wealthy Americans invested in prewar Nazi Germany because there was money to be made, and Nazis were welcomed to postwar America as fighters against communism; the State Department and American boardrooms were filled with Arabists who had no sympathy for a Jewish state not because it was filled with Jews, but because it was empty of oil. Loftus and Aarons undermine their work by its enormous scope, which makes it virtually impossible to distinguish one chess-gambit conspiracy from another. Also, the sources for their most explosive revelations are ``confidential interviews'' with unnamed veterans of an alphabet soup of espionage agencies: Little hard evidence is presented. Still, like all good conspiracy books, this one offers plausible and intriguing explanations for gray areas of history. These range from how American companies wrested control of Saudi Arabia's oil fields from Great Britain in the 1920s and '30s to the way countries were convinced (blackmailed, say the authors, in a convoluted plot involving Nelson Rockefeller, who was allegedly selling oil to the Nazis all through WW II) to support the creation of Israel in 1948. The book is also enlivened by a rich rogues' gallery, including double (or maybe triple) agents Jack and Kim Philby; and John Foster and Allen Dulles, accused of subverting American foreign policy to their insatiable greed. A conspiracy book offering tasty morsels if one reads with a grain of salt and disregards its sensationalized and misleading title. (16 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-312-09535-X

Page Count: 640

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994

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...



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?

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet