A breathtaking display of erudition that targets the scholarly expert.




An exhaustive history of the Canadian destroyer warship, a portal into the development of the nation’s navy as a whole.

In a way, the history of the Canadian destroyer long predates the introduction of the ship into the Canadian navy. It started with the invention of torpedo technology in 1866, nearly half a century before the Royal Canadian Navy even existed. The new coal-powered Torpedo Destroyers that resulted were small but nimble and potentially capable of countering an attack from a much larger, comparatively lumbering opponent. Headed into World War I, quick on the heels of the RCN’s inception, there was an imminent need for a warship that could effectively fight German naval forces, including its U-boats and submarines. The RNC emerged from World War II as a leader in anti-submarine technology and warfare, and its anti-submarine destroyer was its signature contribution to the war effort. In the 1960s, the Canadian navy was confronted with two new challenges: it had to replace an aging fleet of anti-submarine ships and also needed to produce larger destroyers that better fulfilled its mission as a member of NATO. In the wake of the Cold War, and after the redrawing of the military landscape affected by the engagements in the Middle East post–9/11, the Canadian military accepted the need for more generous budgets to maintain battle readiness as well as the capability to engage simultaneously on multiple war fronts. Campbell (Before the Crash, 2017) is a former reservist for the Canadian Forces, which explains his boundlessly patriotic enthusiasm, but nothing could fully account for the implacable diligence of his scholarship. He masterfully describes the Byzantine configuration of a warship: “Modern warships are a complex collection of weapons, sensors, defense and propulsion systems—and that doesn’t even take into account the variety of ‘hotel’ services required to support a crew on a deployment.” However, the author’s microscopic attention to detail can become onerous, and sometimes the larger historical picture gets overtaken by a swarm of minutiae. This will be an invaluable resource for military scholars, but it’s far too technical for a more general readership.

A breathtaking display of erudition that targets the scholarly expert. 

Pub Date: March 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9691548-2-2

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Kay Cee Publications

Review Posted Online: April 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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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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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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