A thorough, impressive tour of imperial London a century ago and of the dissenting voices that finally helped the sun set on this bastion of Eurocentrism. History professor Schneer (Georgia Institute of Technology) lets readers view the grimy streets, polished offices, and dockside warehouses of old London, as well as the hearts and minds of its elitist, racist denizens. History’s greatest empire, controlling 400 million people, was governed from a metropolis of 6 million, with a vast port and financial center. Yet while the horns of African rhinos and skins of Canadian seals piled up alongside mineral and material wealth taken in “tribute” from the West Indies, South Africa, Australia, India, etc., Schneer produces those who defied the “continual barrage of imperialist propaganda.” Beginning with half a million Irish and swelled by eastern and central Europeans, Jews, and Asians, there were sufficient foreigners and people of color to bristle at the exotic, caged “darkie” and animal spectacles and to join liberals, unionists, and early feminists who fought the many injustices of Britannia. Schneer documents the battles of several individuals who saw beyond the profits of near-slave labor on Chinese railroads, Latin American sugarcane fields, African mines, Borneo rubber plantations, and Ceylonese tea farms. Just as Ben Tillet’s Stevedores Union took on London shipping, Lord George Hamilton “did not believe that Indians should serve as cannon fodder” as conflicts beside the Boer War flared. A cultural hero and pioneer of anthropological relativism was Mary Kingsley, who explored deepest Africa and shockingly concluded that blacks are different, not inferior. Schneer’s masterful work reminds us how far we—ve come in our ongoing Copernican revolution to prove that the globe doesn—t revolve around white English-speaking men. (40 illustrations, not seen)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-300-07625-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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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

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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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