A thoughtful appreciation of the gap between rhetoric and reality that opens when the US is challenged by terrorists. At the outset, Turner (director of the CIA during the Carter Administration) notes that American Presidents have been obliged to deal with offshore extortionists for nearly two centuries, i.e., since Jefferson dispatched a ragtag expedition in 1805 to rescue 307 US citizens held captive by pirates in the Barbary State of Tripoli. In light of latter-day crises from the Pueblo to TWA Flight 847 (which he examines in some detail), Turner effectively puts paid to the perdurable notion that the federal government does not treat with terrorists. Notwithstanding stated policy, he shows that most chief executives have engaged in some sort of negotiations to secure the release of American prisoners when faced with a hostage situation. At the heart of the text is an extended post-mortem on the 1979-80 confrontation that pitted the US against Iran in the wake of the Shah's ouster. Calling on his own deep involvement in the prolonged efforts to free American diplomats held hostage by Islamic militants, Turner provides an insider's reflective insights on what went wrong and why along a weary, humiliating way. He also offers shrewd critiques of the Reagan Administration's generally dismal record in head-to-head encounters with global terrorists. In closing, the author evaluates the options available to democracies forced to consider the often irrational demands and grievances of hijackers, murderers, or other outlaws with a cause. His short list of ten possibilities ranges from assassination through punitive military attacks, improved intelligence, covert action, economic sanctions, and legal recourse. An instructive briefing that makes a persuasive, if understated, case for pragmatism over principle.

Pub Date: June 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-43086-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1991

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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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