RABIN

OUR LIFE, HIS LEGACY

A straightforward (and somewhat superficial) account of the life and times of Israel's late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by his widow. Rabin paints an adulatory, one-sided portrait of her husband, chronicling his life as a farmer, general, and statesman, and his many successes. His failures are almost always attributed to others. The author unfairly targets Bar-Ilan University, where Yigal Amir was a student, as the main force behind Amir's assassination of her husband. Although the university is a center of nonideological Orthodoxy, Rabin contends that ``a core of extremist rabbis'' there have led their students to believe that ``the `holy land' of Judea and Samaria is more holy than the life of the prime minister who was willing to compromise on this land for peace.'' She also blames the left for her husband's death, for remaining silent when right-wing protesters camped outside the Rabin home, taunting the couple and comparing them to Nicolae and Elena Ceauescu of Romania. And it was the left's complacency, contends Rabin, that gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his recent victory. ``Why had they not used me more extensively in their campaign?'' she wonders. She glosses over many of the controversies that surrounded the Rabins. She accused President Ezer Weizman of spreading rumors that her husband had a nervous breakdown in the exhausting days preceding the Six-Day War. The illegal bank account she held in America is explained as an ``oversight, an unintentional violation.'' And the lifelong rivalry between Rabin and Shimon Peres seems to dissipate in their joint pursuit of the Oslo agreement. The author clearly delights in her contacts with celebrities, and this book takes on a gossipy tone when she alludes to the likes of Henry Kissinger, Betty Ford, Barbara Bush, and Suah Arafat. Always interesting, but this is more of a eulogy than a memoir. (16 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-399-14217-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more