TREES AND PEOPLE

A contribution to the debate over professional forestry's environmental impact by someone who believes that people take better care of trees than nature does. The US Forestry Service—and professional forestry in general- -has come under heavy fire in recent years for, among other sins, the irresponsible destruction of trees. Jordan, who has worked for 40 years in the forest products industry, argues that environmentalists and government regulations are standing in the way of healthy, sustainable forests. He takes as a hopeful sign President Clinton's 1993 Forestry Conference, which attempted to find a common ground between conflicting environmental and economic demands. Some kind of resolution is necessary, Jordan argues, if the forest-products industry is to continue to fulfill the American Dream by supplying cheap housing and consumer goods. In 1993, Jordan asserts, 129,000 people were busy writing 66,000 pages of federal regulations, many of which were contradictory. Worse still, in his view, Congress is designating countless acres as national wilderness or protected parkland. Nature rules in these areas, states Jordan, causing ``catastrophic `clearcuts' through the devastating ravages of wildfires, hurricanes, insects, disease and old age,'' while in the hands of private industry these same areas would have watershed protection, erosion control, care of wildlife and plant habitat, recreational opportunity, and, most important, stewardship of a valuable renewable raw material. He calls for a national campaign on the part of the forest-products industry to spread the word about its successes, combat its negative public image, and cultivate grassroots support. Jordan is an articulate and fervent advocate of sustainable forestry, and his perspective on the issues is refreshingly different, but he fails to adequately address such major environmental concerns as the loss of genetic diversity among forest trees. A valid comment, but far from the final word on the fate of our forests. (Photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-89526-483-8

Page Count: 269

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1994

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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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