Trying to hunt down the controversial, complex Greene (190491) as the Harry Lime of the literary racket, Shelden (Orwell, 1991, etc.) succeeds less in decoding the deceptions of Greene's life than in creating a trail of false leads. In contrast to the meticulous Norman Sherry's multi-volume authorized biography (The Life of Graham Greene: Vol. II, 1995, etc.), Shelden not only braves the protective Greene estate, but also rummages for unreliable rumors and sloppily sourced gossip. Greene's penchant for prostitutes, his friendship with double agent Kim Philby, his provocative loose-cannon politics, and his heterodox (rather antinomian) Catholicism all entangled his enigmatic life; but Shelden adds unsupported claims of homosexuality and pedophilia, opportunistic political posturing, and religious hypocrisy to make Greene as villainous a character as any in his novels. Shelden uses such unreliable witnesses as a Jamaican maid, a Capri postal worker, and the batty model for Aunt Augusta of Travels with My Aunt, and his own cases for an adolescent botched suicide attempt by hanging and an affair with a fellow Oxford man have scarcely more credibility. Given Greene's highly dubious character, some of Shelden's barbs hook flesh, from habitual spitefulness and petty deceptions—such as the publication of the ``lost novel'' The Tenth Man—to more serious sins. Shelden uncovers an early anti-Semitic streak, which surfaced in Greene's 1930s movie reviews of the ``tasteless Semitic opulence'' of producer Alexander Korda. In his last years, Greene conducted all-expenses-paid political liaisons with Panamanian dictators General Omar Torrijos and Manuel Noriega, and the Sandinistas— which led to his puff personality piece Getting to Know the General, especially disappointing in comparison with his famously penetrating earlier tours of Mexico and Vietnam. Despite Shelden's relentless animus for Greene as a person and a writer, this propaganda campaign can neither surpass nor subvert the Greene legend. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: June 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-679-42883-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 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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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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