HOLDING MY OWN IN NO MAN'S LAND

WOMEN AND MEN AND FILM AND FEMINISM

A collection of previously published profiles and essays by the feminist film critic (From Reverence to Rape, 1974, etc.) that offer offbeat, compelling approaches and keen observations but leave the reader yearning for more argument. Of the profiles, the most farseeing is on Doris Day, who, Haskell says, should be regarded more seriously than she has been for her ability to capture 1950s-style ambition and neurosis in films like The Man Who Knew Too Much and Love Me or Leave Me. Examinations of Gloria Swanson and John Wayne are also satisfying, though for some Wayne is less Haskell's ``father figure . . . who made the world safe for us so that we could explore it on our own terms'' than a more visceral archetype of male sexuality. ``Two Protofeminist Heroines'' reminds us of the sexual equality that was possible before the sexual revolution, as seen in two Howard Hawks movies (His Girl Friday and Man's Favorite Sport). Nice takes on literary figures and current social/artistic trends—Austen's Emma, the superabundance of film nudity, the uses of makeup (not to deceive but ``to create something magnificent'') round out the book. Most invigorating is Haskell's introduction, which spins out many ripe observations: the great authority of female stars despite a ``tyrannical'' studio system; the forces that still impede gender parity (denying and repressing ``the matriarchy into which every child is born''); woman's uncertain place in the No-Man's-Land stretching between film studies and feminism. Haskell is appealingly casual and urbane in this section: Freud, Jane Russell, Nietzsche, and others are tossed in the air. Alas, after 15 pages, the rhetorical balls are gathered up and the articles, thorough but less prickly and wide-ranging, begin. Haskell chooses the ``devious'' route of essays rather than a polemic because, she asserts, there is no one right ``theory'' of film, feminism, or culture—a fair argument but one that leaves her work here feeling somewhat lacking.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-19-505309-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1996

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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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