AIN'T GONNA STUDY WAR NO MORE

THE STORY OF AMERICA'S PEACE SEEKERS

Meltzer's history of war resistance in the United States is most notable for its forthright condemnation of war—which is not exactly beside the point. He clearly supports the view of early peace groups that "wars are most often fought for profit under the banner of national honor." In this vein he notes how "land-hungry Western warhawks in Congress" pushed through the unpopular war of 1812; and he points up the Mexican War's link with slavery. Similarly, the Spanish-American War of 1898 was fueled by "white racism combined with economic pressure," and World War I, "a war nobody wanted and nobody could stop," stands as an object lesson for today. In Vietnam, "America's most disastrous military adventure," our government deceived its own people and destroyed South Vietnamese society, essentially to avoid political embarrassment. Some wars have been harder to condemn, and Meltzer, having traced the "just war" concept since its fourth-century origin, goes into the Quakers' conflict of conscience during the Civil War and the "terrible moral dilemma" for pacifists posed by World War II. He doesn't presume to answer the question of whether a Hitler could be resisted by nonviolent means, but points to occupied Norway and Denmark as examples of just that. Developed in counterpoint with his history of the wars, Meltzer's chronicle of conscientious objectors and war-resistance groups sometimes becomes a blur of names and acronyms. We learn too little about too many groups, and are served with judgments that deserve further development. However, this is a limitation endemic to the YA survey; and if Meltzer's readers don't remember many names, they may well respond to some of the many quotes from resisters' writings and speeches. They may also be impressed by the long tradition of resistance, the persecution that conscientious objectors have endured, and the large number of today's young men who have ignored draft registration requirements.

Pub Date: April 17, 1985

ISBN: 0375822607

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1985

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style....

GRAMMAR GIRL PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE WRITING GUIDE FOR STUDENTS

As she does in previous volumes—Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (2008) and The Grammar Devotional (2009)—Fogarty affects an earnest and upbeat tone to dissuade those who think a grammar book has to be “annoying, boring, and confusing” and takes on the role of “grammar guide, intent on demystifying grammar.”

Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style. Fogarty works hard to find amusing, even cheeky examples to illustrate the many faux pas she discusses: "Squiggly presumed that Grammar Girl would flinch when she saw the word misspelled as alot." Young readers may well look beyond the cheery tone and friendly cover, though, and find a 300+-page text that looks suspiciously schoolish and isn't really that different from the grammar texts they have known for years (and from which they have still not learned a lot of grammar). As William Strunk said in his introduction to the first edition of the little The Elements of Style, the most useful grammar guide concentrates attention “on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.” After that, “Students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work.” By being exhaustive, Fogarty may well have created just the kind of volume she hoped to avoid.

Pub Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8943-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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