In the Thirties, before he made his name with The Man With the Golden Arm, Algren was one of several soon-to-be-famous hungry writers hired by the WPA for the Illinois Writers Project's regional guides. Algren's subject was midwestern food customs, and he covered it with considerable charm and attention, though WW II disrupted the project and his report is just now being published. Algren sets a fluent pace from the beginning with an information-rich yet lively and almost lyrical evocation of Native American (``Indian,'' in his day) and frontier food-ways; and he keeps it up through rolling views of pancake-scoffing lumberjacks, bear-eating voyagers, homesteaders with their apple-peelin' socials, farmers' harvest potlucks, a community buffalo festival, slave food brought north, ethnic spectacles (such as an annual Serbian-American picnic for 2500), and the various specialties of different immigrant groups—all of whom, Algren observes, tend to make steady diets of their Old World special feast foods. None of this sounds like Nelson Algren as we know him, but it has far more style, vitality, and apt detail than the run of today's (or yesterday's) folksy foodlore. As for recipes, they hail from almost everywhere but run to solid European fare, with only one vegetable dish in the lot. Referring no doubt to the directions rather than to the dishes as eaten, Algren declares them ``lousy''—he simply wrote down what the cooks told him—and the more knowledgeable Louis Szathm†ry (a Hungarian-American chef, food writer, and cookbook collector who knew Algren and bought the manuscript from him shortly before his death) has, he says here, found some outlandish. Thus the whole recipe batch is appended twice: first, as Algren heard and wrote them, and then as Szathm†ry and a crew of assistants have revised them. Consider Algren's versions engaging documents and Szathm†ry's doable. (Thirty-five photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: May 29, 1992

ISBN: 0-87745-361-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Univ. of Iowa

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1992

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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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