Readers with a memory for the time will appreciate some of Lerner’s dish, which involves other now-well-known radicals....

SWORDS IN THE HANDS OF CHILDREN

REFLECTIONS OF AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY

A rueful—but not entirely so—account of years spent in the Students for Democratic Society and its militant offspring, the Weather Underground.

Lerner, now enjoying a quiet, small-town life with his husband, came to radicalism, like so many others of his generation, as a result of the Vietnam War. As an Antioch student in 1967, bookish and born into a liberal Jewish family, he fell in love with the shock tactics of guerrilla street theater. We might call it performance art today, but suffice it to say that setting a life-sized mannequin ablaze and then proclaiming that the conflagration is the suicide of an anti-war student is a good way to capture attention. “Nowadays,” he writes on a get-off-my-lawn note, “doing something like this on the campus of a liberal arts college might be found objectionable for not being preceded by a trigger warning.” From there, the author was on to the Weather Bureau, which evolved into the Weathermen and then the Weather Underground as its members, having gone on to rob banks and bomb draft boards, fled from the law. With admirable candor if not admirable behavior, Lerner positions himself as a revolutionary compromised by sure desire to keep out of trouble, willing to endorse the most drastic actions but not necessarily to get his hands dirty. As he writes, having gone underground all the same, “fear can be a disincentive to action. Shame, on the other hand, as I came to know well, can be a great motivator.” With a dawning awareness of himself as a gay man with other battles to fight (“in those days admitting to being gay was an enormous humiliation”), Lerner distanced himself from a movement that disintegrated in the mid-1970s.

Readers with a memory for the time will appreciate some of Lerner’s dish, which involves other now-well-known radicals. Those too young for it will find inspiration in his latter-day commitment to tiny acts in the face of Armageddon.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-682190-98-2

Page Count: 220

Publisher: OR Books

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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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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