HOW I GOT THIS WAY

Bucolic essayist McManus (The Good Samaritan Strikes Again, 1992, etc.) pops out of the tall timber to present his ninth gathering of lies and giggles from field and stream. The usual crew of supporting characters—Retch Sweeney, Rancid Crabtree and wife Bun, as well as a phalanx of Sasquatches— provides backup while McManus sings his old sweet song of silliness. He's still got it, if you want it—and you probably do if you ever dreamed of attending an elk hunters' banquet, smelled a hen house, or been bitten by a bug. The author has met all sorts, from George Bush to a kingfisher who left him a farewell note. Indeed, not since Professor Robert Benchley went beak to beak with a pigeon has a writer had such a meaningful relationship with a bird. Between wistful autobiographical reports, our mountain Montaigne fires off a few worthy aphorisms in his debriefings from the field. ``The older something is,'' he muses, ``the more it is valued, people being the only exception.'' Another piece of philosophy (written about a dog, not an erstwhile president): ``Nothing improves character so much as death.'' The thrust of the author's body of work, of course, is spectacular lack of accomplishment in any fresh air activity, and the present collection continues the pattern. This is McManus as his cadre of fans knows him, and perhaps it's too much to ask the nostalgic woodsman to beat a path to new territory. Regular readers will be pleased to meet the hapless Clown of the Wild Frontier once again. Trepid, vincible, domitable, and predictable as the seasons, Pat McManus is still the funniest guy in a flannel shirt.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-8050-3481-1

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 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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