South African national muay thai champion Gorman offers a concise introduction to this martial art.
Muay thai is one of the lesser-known martial arts, but with the rise of mixed martial arts and other “ring” martial arts, it is sure to gain in popularity—especially, Gorman notes with a measure of pride and caution, since it “is renowned as the world’s most brutal ring sport.” There is little doubt that Gorman revels in both the challenge and the more ethereal aspects of the sport, bringing forth its almost meditative aspects—composure, balance, calmness, breathing—and its sheer physicality: “He nearly knocked me down in the first twenty seconds, hitting me with a straight punch to the face….It was a bit of a surreal experience.” Gorman succeeds in giving readers a rounded sense of the sport, underlining the importance of discipline, commitment and respect—qualities that can’t help but be of benefit in all walks of life—as well as general body strengthening, weight loss, and the joy that comes with being intensely in the moment. For a primer without pictures, Gorman does a yeoman’s job explaining stances, punches, kicks, elbows (“Elbows were taken out of some forms of fighting, because they are considered deadly weapons”—but not out of muay thai), knees and clinches that can be easily, perhaps painfully visualized: “Muay Thai kicking is renowned as extremely dangerous, because we kick our opponents with the bones of our shins,” “Elbows are devastating,” and “a knee to the head will most likely end a fight.” Through all the mayhem, Gorman never loses sight of the fun he’s having, with one eye on the beauty of an ancient art form and the other making sure his chin is down and his hands are up.
A snappy little handbook that could easily lead to deeper involvement in the sport.
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").
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)