AT THE HAND OF MAN

PERIL AND HOPE FOR AFRICA'S WILDLIFE

In a book that's bound to be controversial, New Yorker staff writer Bonner (Weakness and Deceit, 1984) charges Western animal- rights activists with practicing ``eco-colonialism,'' which he deems as detrimental to the people of Africa as old-style colonialism. Bonner—who recently spent some time in Africa and is an avowed advocate of environmental stewardship—notes that, in a continent where the population has increased from 100 million to 450 million in under a century, it's unrealistic to expect impoverished Africans to give up more land to wildlife so that the continent can remain the fantasy wild kingdom that Westerners yearn for. Africans and animals, he contends, will have to evolve some tenable modus vivendi if wildlife is not to disappear and Africans not to starve. But Western organizations—including all the big- name environmental groups—focus exclusively on animals, reflecting decisions that more often have to do with fund-raising than with reality. To illustrate how these groups manipulate the public and politicians, Bonner traces the history of the 1989 decision to enact the current international ban on the sale of ivory—by his account, a sordid tale of money-driven environmentalists, Western emotionalism, and political posturing and opportunism. Bonner says that elephants aren't likely to disappear and that, in areas like Zimbabwe and Namibia, thanks to projects like Campfire, they are actually thriving. Moreover, these projects not only involve the local people but also distribute the revenues gained from tourism and from selective culling. But too many environmentalists, Bonner says, ignore the plight of Africans, push a Western-based agenda, and neglect to educate their members on the devastating impact of unbridled wildlife on the ecosystem. ``It's too easy to impose bans,'' he forcefully concludes. Tough, timely talk: an important book on an increasingly hot topic.

Pub Date: April 26, 1993

ISBN: 0-679-40008-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1993

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

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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