Genial, offbeat feature writing from the AP correspondent who observed The Secret Life of the Seine (1994) from his own houseboat; now he's got five acres in Provence overgrown with olive trees, and he's smitten with the cult of the olive. The magic, surprisingly, can be catching. A fully engaged curiosity enhances the reach of Rosenblum's repertoire, from the turf of the cultivators to the politics of commerce—and from Kalamata, where he samples some of the best oil of his life (though there's no place on earth like the olive souk in Marrakesh), to California, where olive trees are moving in on the vineyards. Wherever he goes on assignment, Rosenblum finds ``brothers in the olive,'' ready to take up the great debate on the best way to press oil. With a little stroking, they might offer a visiting aficionado a taste from their own stock: ``Gold,'' one connoisseur calls the bottle he parts with reluctantly (it crashes to the floor unsampled during Rosenblum's bag check at the airport). The assaults of nature and the uncertainty of the marketplace, fodder for kibitzers all around the Mediterranean, mean that most members of the olive-growing fraternity have to have day jobs. (Private holdings have anyhow been diluted below subsistence level over the millennia by cumulative adherence to the tradition of dividing a man's olive trees among his surviving sons.) In Italy, bulk-buyers misrepresent superior oils from elsewhere as their own and compound the fraud by adulterating them; in Israel, memorably, a Jew and an Arab go into business together exporting olives in fitting response to the accelerating peace; in Croatia, where nobody's tending the trees these days, refugee children play war games using the abandoned olives for ammunition. The world as seen through the window of an idiosyncratic passion, rendered by a raffish pro. (line drawings)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-86547-503-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: North Point/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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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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