These posthumous memoirs of novelist and journalist Herbst (1892-1969) alternate between dreamy recollection and thoughtful questioning of literary and political fashions. Herbst begins with tales of her pre-WW I childhood in Iowa, where she is raised by a mother who wonders hopefully whether young Josephine will grow up to be a lawyer and by a father who says as she leaves home for New York, ``Jo, I don't know what you're after, but I wish you all the luck in the world.'' In New York, Paris, and other centers of the cutting edge she is part of a literary circle that includes Katherine Anne Porter, Ernest Hemingway, Nathanael West, and others, living an enviable life of conversation and reading and stopping occasionally to wonder whether contempt for ``the lovely and the beautiful'' is becoming too popular. Her strongest contempt is for rigid ideologies. At a writers' conference in Moscow, she becomes disaffected from the literary figures whose praise for proletariat literature is a thinly veiled speech of self-promotion, and her refusal to paint the Spanish Civil War in black and white paralyzes her and keeps her silent about her trip for the next 30 years. Her questioning doesn't keep her from sentimentalizing the political debates of the time, but her description of sitting in an Italian-owned diner as Sacco and Vanzetti are executed is one of the work's memorable moments. Herbst convinces us that she was in the eye of the storm of the era that ``opened the world to its literary young on a scale never before ventured and not equaled since.''

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 1991

ISBN: 0-06-016512-X

Page Count: 224

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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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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