THE SECRET LIFE OF THE SEINE

A lively insider's look at life on the Seine from seasoned Associated Press correspondent Rosenblum (Who Stole the News?, 1993, etc.). When Rosenblum finds himself kicked out of his apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis, he buys a houseboat and explores the river that harbors France's soul. He begins at the source in Burgundy, where water wells up unspectacularly from three cracks among the remains of a Gallo-Roman temple, and ends at the mouth at Le Havre, where the Germans made a last stand in 1944. Along the way, he offers history as far back as the Paleocene period when the bed of the Seine was the floor of a shallow inland sea, investigates river towns like Giverny, which inspired Monet to realize those radiant panels of water lilies, laments pollution by nuclear power plants that generate 75 percent of France's electricity, and explains the economic evolution of a waterway that once flourished as mom-and- pop-run barges busily transported freight only to lose out when state-owned rails and roads undercut rates. Peppered throughout are anecdotal asides: a sampling of items that float by his launch in one half-hour period includes ``one mattress, countless Styrofoam containers, a bloated pig, several condoms, dead fish, live ducks, a television set, someone's jacket, someone else's trousers, many people's lunch.'' He also presents an astounding collection of river dwellers that makes one wonder ``if the Seine manufactures characters or merely attracts them.'' And despite his obvious Francophile tendencies, he recognizes that the homeless huddling in camps under the bridges represent ``the flotsam of a society headed for trouble.'' Rosenblum's prose brilliantly captures the spirit of the Seine—the name originates from the Gallic Sequana, meaning twisting or tranquil. Alternating romantic and acerbic tones inspire admiration, if not always envy, for a historically revered culture.

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-201-62461-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994

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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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