THE MEADOWLANDS

WILDERNESS ADVENTURES AT THE EDGE OF A CITY

Outlandish, implausibly captivating explorations of New Jersey's untamed and godawful Meadowlands from freelance journalist Sullivan. If there's an environmental equivalent of the Inferno's sub-basement, it is the Meadowlands, the skanky place with the pretty name. Pestilence, poison, murder, mayhem—the Meadowlands are home to them all, in abundance. Come a free day, Sullivan enjoys nosing about, ``like a bad habit,'' in the toxic farrago of swamp, bog, and saltwater marsh, encountering things you would rather not know about. Bring on the Superfund cleanup sites and state remediation areas; the smoldering hills of garbage, laced with mercury and chromium, leaching their brown juices into the waterways; the obscene swarms of mosquitoes hatching in water the color of antifreeze; serve them forth, Sullivan wants a look-see. But the story isn't all vile, for there is a history here to consider, of real meadows that once supported arum and saxiflage and cedar forests, native populations and European settlers who didn't rape the terrain, and there is the host of characters smitten by the Meadowlands, with strange and curious things to tell. And Sullivan has an appealing taste for the absurd and ridiculous, the kind of material that gives places warp and weft: He floats his canoe over the submerged remains of a radio station ``thought to be the first to ever broadcast the voice of Frank Sinatra,'' finds the world's largest collection of foreign translations of Gone with the Wind at the Kearny Public Library, and casually observes ``the morning that Dave and I set out to dig for Jimmy Hoffa was beautiful and sunny.'' The 20th century has done its worst by the Meadowlands, but as Sullivan superbly demonstrates, there is life in the old landscape yet, a friskiness that shakes off into the clayey muck the hellspawn of progress.

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-684-83285-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1998

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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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IN MY PLACE

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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