Englishman Ford (Middle East correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor) travels by sea and by foot along the Caribbean coastline from Belize to Panama in this cool-blooded exploration of the convoluted culture and history of the Miskito Coast. The origin of Central America's Miskito Indians, and of their name itself, has long been lost in the tangle of liaisons between conqueror and conquered, native and newcomer along this particular stretch of Caribbean beach. Largely insulated from traditional Latin American culture by thick jungles, poor or nonexistent roads, and a lack of natural resources that distant governments found worth taking, the inhabitants of the Miskito Coast today, Ford finds, suggest a fascinating if unsettling mixture of African, English, French, West Indian, Spanish, and Indian influences. When not being used by the CIA to revolt against the Sandinistas or requested by visitors to reminisce once again about the days of the last Miskito king, coastal residents live according to a slow, fatalistic rhythm that here often drives Ford wild with impatience. Boat connections are missed while Ford fights a battle for proper immigration papers; a Nicaraguan guide gets lost and leads him to a hostile coast-guard station in Costa Rica; the Panamanian police order him out of the country without explanation, abruptly ending Ford's journey as he flies directly home. In short, if traditional Central American culture has not found its way unadulterated to this insulated coast, its bureaucracy has—less of a surprise, certainly, than Ford's inability to adapt, after six years as a journalist in Latin America, to inept treatment at the hands of his bored or frightened governmental hosts. A tale of terminal incompatibility—short on introspection, but sporadically entertaining nonetheless. (Maps.)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-670-82827-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1991

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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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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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