On January 30 of last year Ralph Nader and some like-minded associates had a blast at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington D.C. But before anyone gets the wrong notion, it was a most sober toot — advocates of "whistle blowing" (exposing government or industry activity which conflicts with the public interest) assembled for a one-day Conference on Professional Responsibility. The morning session heard Nader discuss the whistle-blowing ethic (what criteria might an individual use when confronted with the question of loyalty vs. conscience?), then Senator William Proxmire on the federal employee's obligation (a draft of his pending Employee Rights and Accountability Act which would ensure due process for civil servants is appended), Robert (Up the Organization) Townsend on fingering malfeasance in the business community, and finally Prof. Arthur Miller (George Washington Law) on the legal issues (cf. the Ellsberg-Russo case). In the afternoon, nine prominent whistle blowers — Dr. Jacqueline Verrett (FDA, cyclamates), A. Ernest Fitzgerald (formerly Air Force, C-5A cost overruns), Dr. Dale Console (formerly Squibb Co., drug industry exploitation), et al. — talked about their cases, attitudes, and convictions. Most conferees agreed that, while it is unlikely the whistle-blowing process can or should be systematized, general strategies and guidelines are required (codes of ethics, bills of rights, legislation, and the like) — proposals similar to those offered in Peters and Branch's Blowing the Whistle (p. 246). To be citizen first and employee second is one of those wrenching ontological choices; the merit of this latest volume in the Nader Advocacy Library is that it sensitizes the problem and offers pragmatic encouragement.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 1972

ISBN: 0670762253

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Grossman

Review Posted Online: May 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    


Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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