Many years ago H. G. Wells wrote "It is not creative minds that produce revolutions, but the obstinate conservation of established authority," a sentiment that can serve as the text for this proficient if rather stereotyped critique of contemporary American corporate power. The contributors — all participants in a Nader-sponsored colloquium on big business accountability held late last year — want the corporation to become more socially responsible, not out of starry-eyed rapture with the boardroom and the fatcats who run it but because they are pragmatic welfare capitalists who seek to reform rather than revolutionize our economic subsystems. Robert Dahl leads off the proceedings with a call for more competition, more public control, less bigness; John Kenneth Galbraith plumps (once again) for transforming large private corporations into public enterprises; Senator Fred Harris proposes breaking up the monopolies; Mark Green issues a plea for a new corporate moral standard in which the companies "realize their special obligations as dominant citizens"; John J. Flynn looks toward a "corporate democracy"; Willard Mueller discusses the need for public disclosure; Andrew Hacker believes that it will take another serious depression before corporate accountability can be implemented. Not at all a muckraking collection (cf. Nader above), this lacks the intensity of recent similar works like Heilbroner's In the Name of Corporate Profit (p. 235) and the proposed remedies are either stale or too soulful for the soulless.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1972

ISBN: 014004566X

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Grossman

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.


New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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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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