A compelling case for forgiveness—traditionally thought of as the way to heal disputes between persons—as the route to better relations between peoples. Shriver (president emeritus of Union Theological Seminary) argues that forgiveness needs to play a pivotal role in dealing with contemporary ethnic and national conflict. To forgive, for Shriver, is not to forget. Rather, he sees forgiveness as a fourfold process: acknowledgment of the wrong done; passing of moral judgment; the renunciation of vengeance; and the search for a new, empathic relationship with ``the other.'' Shriver puts his case in descriptive, pragmatic terms and from an avowedly American standpoint. In a rapid introductory sketch, beginning with the ancient Greeks and the Bible, he shows how forgiveness gradually lost its original social, or public, dimension until, with the thought of Locke and Kant, it was relegated to the realm of individual sin and private conscience. Shriver goes on to describe the complex issues of guilt and forgiveness involved in postwar US relations with Germany and Japan. We hear of Germany's gradual coming to terms with the Holocaust and WW II, exemplified by the controversy over President Reagan's visit to SS war graves at Bitburg and culminating in President WeizsÑcker's apologetic Bundestag speech. US relations with Japan are not as far along in part because of the racial dimension of that conflict, for example, in the internment of US citizens of Japanese (but not German) descent during WW II. Himself a southerner and a Democratic activist in the 1960s, Shriver then examines the role of forgiveness in American society's persistent racial conflicts. He takes us into the thought of Martin Luther King (``a greater political moralist than Thomas Jefferson''), Malcolm X, and others, and he presses the case for economic plans to right past and present evils. For anyone concerned with the continual cycles of vengeance and retaliation in our world, Shriver's book offers a well-argued vision of hope.

Pub Date: March 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-509105-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1995

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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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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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