HENRY CLAY

STATESMAN FOR THE UNION

From Remini (History/Chicago; The Life of Andrew Jackson, 1988, etc.)—a definitive, magisterial biography of the great statesman who dominated the public life of the early American republic but who could never attain its highest office. Clay emerges here as a man of paradoxes—a lifelong slaveholder who hated slavery and campaigned for its abolition; a politician who helped destroy the First Bank of the United States but who later made the Second Bank the cornerstone of his ``American System'' and fought bitterly, and vainly, with Andrew Jackson for its recharter; a statesman who won the love of his contemporaries but who failed to win the presidency in three attempts; a successful politician who suffered a sad and miserable personal life. Relying on primary sources, Remini details Clay's familiar roles as the Great Compromiser, the founder of the Whig party, the opponent of the Mexican War, and the champion of tariffs, internal improvements, and a strong Union. The author also describes some aspects of Clay's public life that may be unfamiliar to most readers (for instance, as Speaker of the House, that Clay was an eminent ``War Hawk'' who goaded a timid President Madison into the nearly disastrous War of 1812, and was also a member, with John Quincy Adams, of the American delegation that ended the war). As a man, Clay appears pompous, caustic (his trenchant humor frequently got him into duels), vain, and arrogant, but also sincerely devoted to his duty as he saw it. Remini's moving description of Clay's personal sorrows (of eleven children, only four survived him, and two went insane), his troubled marriage, and the great unhappiness occasioned by his multiple failures to achieve the presidency rounds out this superior portrait. A fine, absorbing biography that does justice to its great subject. (Photos—not seen.)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1991

ISBN: 0-393-03004-0

Page Count: 832

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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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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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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