THE MAGAZINE IN AMERICA, 1740-1990

Scholarly survey of the magazine in America since pre-Ben Franklin days, a survey Tebbel did earlier for book publishing (Between Covers, 1986). This thick text is most likely to be read by use of its index or in selected chapters rather than straight through; its story is not all that gripping, although it covers magazines preoccupied with every little thing, from floor wax to ``unidentified flying leftist objects.'' Tebbel and Zuckerman (Marketing/SUNY-Genesco) wisely concentrate on post-1918 magazines, lightly sketching in the earlier years with material drawn from Frank Luther Mott's Pulitzer Prize-winning, four-volume A History of Magazines in America (1938). Our first magazines slavishly imitated the gentlemanly British voice and publishing format, even through the Revolutionary War, but had a tough time keeping readers: Americans worked so hard they could spare leisure only for newspapers. Early magazines, however, knew their market in that ladies figured hugely as subject matter, with articles written by men idealizing or moralizing about women. Surprisingly, even before the Civil War there were ten magazines devoted to blacks. Although Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, Atlantic, Scribner's, and Harper's were already long established, modern magazine publishing and marketing methods date from the birth of the Luce empire's information press with Time in 1924, followed by Luce's business magazines, including Fortune, and, his foray into photojournalism, the revered Life in 1936. A feud between Time and The New Yorker climaxed with a wicked profile of Henry Luce by Wolcott Gibbs, which sums up Luce's works: ``Where it all will end, knows God.'' Will today's mass markets break down and disappear into far more personalized, small-target magazines (already capable of light-and-sound effects at the touch of a finger), as the authors suggest in their comprehensive study? Knows God.

Pub Date: July 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-19-505127-0

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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?

DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more