SACRED HORSES

MEMOIRS OF A TURKMEN COWBOY

This plodding tale of Maslow's adventure to Russia's Turkmenistan in search of an exotic horse is salvaged only by the historical filler. What began as an itch to ride a fine Turkmen horse turns into a two-year struggle to secure an official invitation to visit a remote corner of the Soviet Union. After learning the Russian language, taking riding lessons, and desperately searching for contacts, Maslow finally lands a position on a visiting delegation representing New Mexico. Maslow provides an intriguing peep into the lives of male Turkmens, though by his account they spend most of their time eating and drinking vodka. Except for a few stereotypical references to the slavelike life of Turkmen women toiling for hours in the boiling kitchen, Maslow fails to provide any sense of women other than their duty to serve their men. Once, finding a strange woman curled up beside him, Maslow is inspired to write an essay on ``why men don't ride horses anymore,'' concluding that every civilization has ``to deal with the question of how to keep men's pants zipped.'' Such tangential gender stereotyping detracts from an exploration of the rich culture. His sometimes elitist attitude toward Turkmen officials and country people also seems out of place. Somehow he makes friends who invite him to return. On this second trip he manages a short ride on an Akhal- Teke purebred steed. But Maslow's dream of riding across the desert never materializes. He concedes that he is probably not a good enough rider to handle such a magnificent beast for the duration of the journey and credits Central Asia for teaching him to recognize and accept his personal limits, ``a hard lesson for a male.'' Interesting history of Turkmenistan and horses, but an awfully long and condescending account of a man's failed dream.

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-679-40875-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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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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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

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