PRACTICES OF FREEDOM

SELECTED WRITINGS ON HIV/AIDS

Thoughtful, though too often meandering and dry, meditations on the cultural and political response to HIV/AIDS in the US and Great Britain. Watney (Policing Desire: Pornography, AIDS, and the Media, not reviewed) is an experienced professional in the field of HIV education and has written a monthly column on HIV/AIDS for London's Gay Times; this volume collects pieces written between 1986 and 1992. Watney critiques moralistic, homophobic responses to the epidemic, from victim-blaming to failure to acknowledge the disproportionate effect of the disease on gay men (in both the UK and the US) to unrealistic and unhelpful prescriptions of abstinence or monogamy. He argues that HIV/AIDS education must focus on ``safe sex'' and must embrace gay pride, sexual desire, and community. Watney has done academic work in cultural theory, which usefully informs his analyses of media constructions of the epidemic, especially his article on the racist implications of the press's obsession with the non-Western origins of AIDS. Unfortunately, some of his writing is weighed down by a dense, occasionally almost impenetrable writing style; his shorter pieces, most of which were first published in nonacademic gay publications, are much more readable. Watney can also be far-fetched in his theoretical flights, musing at one point that, for straight people, HIV implies a ``physical relationship with the bodies of gay men or people of color. Dread of HIV infection thus speaks an excessive fear of transgressing profound social and psychic boundaries that evidently stabilize...heterosexual identity''—hardly the soundest explanation for collective terror of a fatal disease for which there is still no known cure. Some worthy analysis, but far more jargon-ridden than the complexity of Watney's ideas merits.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-8223-1553-X

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Duke Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 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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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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