An impassioned political screed that’s unlikely to speak to those not already convinced.

THE SAFETY OF THE STATE

AMERICA V. TRUMP/PUTIN

This debut book uses the Declaration of Independence, relevant quotations, and satiric verse to argue the case against Donald Trump’s legitimacy as president.

In this work, artist Gingold brings together 16 short pieces that, with scorn, anger, and wit, call for impeaching Trump. Her opening salvo is four quotations: the first three, from presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln, argue the legitimacy of striking out against an enemy when you have the facts, and the fourth—from former CBS Chairman Les Moonves—is calculated to raise readers’ outrage. Moonves said of Trump’s campaign: “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” The volume’s quotations could use fact-checking and proper attribution; Lincoln’s, for example, appears to be apocryphal, and Trump did not say that Republicans are “the dumbest voters in the country.” Several pieces use rhyming verse, sometimes in the manner of Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear, to comment sarcastically on American election politics, Trump’s ties to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, and the mainstream media’s seeming collusion with Republican goals. The meat of the book, though, is its presentation of text from the Declaration of Independence, interpolated with charges specific to Trump. The author’s point is that, if one set of truths arguing for revolution is self-evident, other truths could make the same case for the same purpose. Unlike the Declaration’s solemn air of objective logic, however, Gingold’s language is inflammatory, even name-calling. Her use of bold capital letters to distinguish the original from added text unfortunately gives this section the appearance of a Facebook rant: “A PRINCE WHOSE CHARACTER IS THUS MARKED BY EVERY ACT WHICH MAY DEFINE A TYRANT, immorality, bigotry, mendacity, trickery, ignorance, piggishness, lawlessness, bellicosity, and greed, IS UNFIT.” While a later section, “ALL ABOUT IMPEACHMENT,” gives further foundation to her argument through quotes from the Constitution and examples of how the process worked in the past, the author doesn’t account for opposing viewpoints or the realpolitik of why even some Democrats are holding off on impeachment.

An impassioned political screed that’s unlikely to speak to those not already convinced.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-19241-2

Page Count: 49

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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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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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

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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