Clear-eyed reporting and graceful prose in a highly readable—and sobering—work of political geography for policymakers and...

PAKISTAN

IN THE SHADOW OF JIHAD AND AFGHANISTAN

Pakistan is a terrorist haven, a nest of corruption, a tinhorn dictatorship—and, writes New Yorker correspondent and long-time Pakistan resident Weaver, a supposed friend whose future is of great strategic importance to the US.

Weaver (A Portrait of Egypt, 1999) prophesies that “the real battleground [against Islamicist terrorists] will be Pakistan,” the strife-torn country at the crossroads of South Asia and Central Asia that has been instrumental in shaping power relations in the region. As, too, has been the American government, which comes in for some hard knocks in Weaver’s pages. To judge by her account, Osama bin Laden was a product of the CIA as much as of the darker side of Arab nationalism, though his wide contacts with Pakistan’s military, scientific, and commercial elite haven’t hurt his ascent. Traveling to places like Karachi, where tensions between Sindhi and Pashtun ethnic factions threaten to erupt in civil war at a moment’s notice, and Peshawar, where “well-appointed villas—including a number owned by Osama bin Laden—nestle concealed behind towering, whitewashed walls,” Weaver talks to fundamentalists and secularists alike, exploring the rifts that obtain among progressives and those who have nearly succeeded in turning Pakistan into a theocracy along the lines of Iran or Taliban-era Afghanistan, stymied only by a military dictatorship as corrupt as any in the world. She does not quite say as much, but one gets the sense that Islamicist victory is imminent—especially because the US is pursuing an antiterrorist policy that targets al-Qaeda almost exclusively while overlooking dozens of Pakistan-based groups that may be more dangerous and murderous still. And if that victory is forthcoming, she warns, “Pakistan could well become the world’s newest failed state—a failed state with nuclear weapons.”

Clear-eyed reporting and graceful prose in a highly readable—and sobering—work of political geography for policymakers and anyone concerned by the risks of an uncertain future.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-374-22894-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2002

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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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