Sincere but somewhat self-oriented accumulation of facts and impressions gathered during three years of wanderings among the Maya of Mexico and Central America; by former New Yorker editor Canby. A stranger in a strange land, Canby says that the purpose of his travels—and they were daunting, considering the 30-odd languages in use and other difficulties of access—was to understand the overall situation of the modern Maya, descendants of a sophisticated Mesoamerican civilization still holding fast to tradition after centuries of Spanish and Latino (mixed-blood) oppression. Beginning in the relative tranquility of southern Mexico, Canby found a sense of Maya otherness quickly surfacing when a first solo trip to a native village resulted in missed connections, misunderstandings, and a long walk at dusk back to the starting point. Fortunately, subsequent efforts proved more successful, including a visit to guerrilla country along the river border between Mexico and Guatemala with a French ecologist working for the Guatemalan government; explorations with gringo experts of temples and cities built during the classic Maya period (7th-8th centuries A.D.); and a number of observations based on participation in native rituals and ceremonies, including the Holy Week appearance of the old-man underworld god, Maxim¢n. Using scholarly texts for historical background and contemporary analysis, Canby evokes in colorful and sympathetic detail the remarkable story of a people's will to survive, but barriers between the Anglo and Maya worldviews remain largely intact, so the result of the author's trip is less a journey to the heart of the Maya than a mapping of its periphery. A patchwork of solid research and stirring images, but overly impressionistic and personal, and more frustrating than fulfilling. (Fifteen maps.)
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)