STATES OF MIND

A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE MID-ATLANTIC

As much personal narrative as travelogue, Yardley's exploration of his native ground has many of the pleasures of Our Kind of People, his 1989 re-creation of his family history: a leisurely and formal prose style, an eye for telling detail, and a strong sense of how the past lurks beneath the surface of the present. A magazine assignment started Yardley thinking about the region in which he has spent most of his life—a territory that runs along the Atlantic coast from Cape Hatteras to New Jersey, and inland to Pittsburgh and the West Virginia hills, and that includes several leading cities as well as rural areas that have changed little since his youth. Here, he records his journeys in search of the region's elusive essence. More subjective than Joseph Thorndike's The Coast (p. 53), which covered much of the same territory, Yardley's odyssey is in many ways one of self-discovery. Among his destinations are Yardley, Pennsylvania, named after his family; the Philadelphia church where his grandparents are buried; Chapel Hill, for his college reunion; his sister's West Virginia farm; the Washington Post newsroom; the Outer Banks resort where he vacations; and Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, for the final home game of his beloved Orioles. Yardley records his speeding tickets in North Carolina; pontificates on the merits of Piedmont and lowland barbecues; tours the Utz potato-chip factory and the Rolling Rock brewery; gripes about motel chains, tour guides, and theme parks; twits the WASP aristocracy; and notes changes in race relations since his youth. In the end, a real sense of the region- -both its roots and its evolution under the pressure of marketing and mass media—comes through. Yardley is a bit too fond of playing the curmudgeon and of repeating favorite lines—such as his having spent half his life on certain stretches of I-95 in Delaware—but there's much fine writing here, and some surprises as well.

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-394-58911-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1993

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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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