All bark and no bite. (line drawings)



Coren (Why We Love the Dogs We Do, 1998, etc.) argues, with no discernible irony, that events and people as disparate as Waterloo and Richard Wagner would have been very different without the influence of dogs. When Napoleon was escaping from Elba, he fell into the water, a dog jumped in and began the rescue effort, and the diminutive Corsican survived to meet his Waterloo. Just think . . . if he had only drowned that day! That is the level of analysis in this truly dreadful example of what-if? history. If the author had adopted a lighter tone and confined himself to amusing stories, odd coincidences, and the little-known obsessions for dogs held by some of history’s more engaging figures from Cromwell to Custer, this volume might have been mildly entertaining. Instead, we get solemn pronouncements such as: “Dogs do have a way of weaving their influence through human events and subtly altering the course of history.” This is not to say there are no chewy biscuits in the bowl: Florence Nightingale may indeed have been inspired to become a nurse by the sight of an injured dog, and it is interesting to learn that Alexander Graham Bell taught a dog to say “How are you, grandmamma?” But it’s quite a stretch from there to speculate that dogs played a significant role in the development of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories.

All bark and no bite. (line drawings)

Pub Date: April 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7432-2228-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2002

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



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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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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