A CRISIS OF MEANING

HOW GAY MEN ARE MAKING SENSE OF AIDS

A salutary study—slightly overwhelmed by its enthusiasm for the theoretical—of strategies for meeting the ``crisis of meaning'' triggered by an HIV-positive diagnosis. Schwartzberg is a psychologist, and the book is clearly shaped by his clinical scruples and animated by the intermittent presence of 19 HIV-positive gay men he interviewed for the research component of his recent doctoral training. His study explores the search in the gay community to find some meaning in the AIDS epidemic, while concentrating on the behavior of individuals living in extremis. Schwartzberg identifies four categories of individual adaptation in those afflicted: Transformation, the optimal mode, wherein ``logical somersaults'' are respected as the price of maintaining meaning; Rupture, the reverse, when every element of one's life seems to fall apart; Camouflage, or self-deception, the shakiest position, marked by a desperate juggling of truth and illusion; and Impassivity, a more constitutional than situational response, of which inattention to reality is both cause and effect. The 19 subjects function as springboards and exemplars for the discussion (the profiles being too sketchy to resonate as case histories, and too few to aspire to statistical significance); Schwartzberg reports nonjudgmentally on their individual strategies and wisely recognizes that different choices reflect different thresholds of tolerance—for grief, anxiety, ambiguity. In elucidating more broadly the response of the gay community to the AIDS epidemic, Schwartzberg, who is gay, brings a proud, concerned personal perspective to bear. He defines the response as three- phased, disbelief followed first by action and then by grief overload, and ends by making a strong case for managing the cumulative grief communally. Ultimately, a textbookish but nonetheless supportive, enlightened study.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-19-509627-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996

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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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