RED ODYSSEY

A JOURNEY THROUGH THE SOVIET REPUBLICS

The turbulent chronicle of an overland trip through six Moslem republics of the former USSR, undertaken by Uzbekistani poet/publisher Akchurin in mid-1990 as the Soviet state entered its final year. Leaving wife and home in Moscow, Akchurin drove southeast with a mechanic friend. Their first stop, in the Volga Basin, included a nightmarish encounter with one of the youth gangs raging out of control in that region, complete with brass knuckles and violence, near-rape and a daring escape. On difficult roads further south, the car was damaged, and the mechanic fled with it back to Moscow. Making full use of his Tartar heritage and a network of writer contacts, Akchurin pressed on, hitchhiking, taking trains and taxis, skirting the dying Aral Sea and passing through Turkestan, Alma-Ata, his former hometown of Tashkent, and other cities large and small before finally arriving in Baku. Along the way, the author found sickness and death among his friends, riots and massacres between formerly peaceful Kirghiz and Uzbek neighbors, and the temptations of a Barbie-doll-like state courtesan—as well as another close encounter with thugs in the form of demobilized, drunken soldiers. In the midst of such dangers and confusion, opportunities invariably arose to discuss the future of the Soviet Union, resurgent nationalism, or finer points of regional ancient history with fellow travelers and colleagues—resulting in this sophisticated travelogue of unique historical importance, a window on a region few modern Westerners have seen. Erudite and action-packed, poetic and personable: a must for anyone seeking an unadulterated view of life in the Central Asian republics, still being swept by change. (Thirty-five b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: May 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-018335-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

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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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