BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME?

THE GREAT DEPRESSION 1929-1933 (LIBRARY OF AMERICAN HISTORY)

The depression's rueful plaint is affixed to a graphic, sometimes scorching documentary history of "how it started and why, and what it felt like." The narrative begins in the easy-going '20's (not so easy for farmers or the persistently unemployed), picking up its first eye-witness account in ominous October 1929: Gordon Parks losing his parttime job and leaving school. The crisis mounts: in one-industry towns the long-idle busy themselves with aimless activity (Waltham, Mass.) or tramp fruitlessly from plant to plant (Detroit); women without jobs are virtually without help; bankrupt schools shut down or shorten their terms, and children work in violation of the law (or take to the road); blacks are replaced by whites, often forcibly; professionals are "worth more dead than alive" (except for literary types who take to the simple life). Mr. Meltzer points out that initially fewer than 200,000 were covered by unemployment insurance and emphasizes both the lag in providing relief and the demeaning way ti was handled; he observes also that the depression "hardly nicked the old money." Reports on shelters and shantytowns, on farm activism and union apathy, lead into a cursory discussion of why protest remained peaceful, of why social consciousness rather than socialism was the outcome. Roosevelt's inauguration and quick action end the book but not, the author notes, the depression itself. As viewed by the victims and by writers as diverse as Anna Arnold Hedgeman and Edmund Wilson (and counterpinted by bland quotes from the mass media), the depression hits home, and hurts.

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 1969

ISBN: 0816023727

Page Count: 130

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1969

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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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