A charming anecdotal account of how a group of ABC execs parlayed an international incident into a news show that redefined late-night television and made little-known anchorman as popular as Johnny Carson. ``The show brought to you by the Ayatollah Khomeini,'' as it was jokingly referred to, Nightline evolved 16 years ago from the series America Held Hostage, ABC's response to their viewers' seemingly insatiable interest in the Iranian hostage crisis. The crisis, which had been expected to be short-lived, dragged on for months, and by then America Held Hostage had broken the Tonight show's monopoly over late-night. The opportunity was ripe for a new show, but what form would it take? Ted Koppel thought that there was no reason to mess with success. He envisioned a continuation of the America Held Hostage series, with an eventual expansion into other serious news topics, and he saw himself as the host. He had been anchoring for much of the hostage crisis and had proved himself an highly intelligent and adept interviewer, one who was quick on his feet. ABC, however, began courting the likes of Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Roger Mudd. We all know who won that round. Koppel and former Nightline producer Gibson provide hilarious behind-the-scenes stories of the chaos inherent in a show that chooses in the morning its topic for that night, only to change it later in the day to cover a breaking story. They also present highlights and lowlights from the show's history, all featuring, of course, Koppel: interviewing, sans translator, a Russian cosmonaut who couldn't speak English; telling Senator Edward Kennedy that he was fat; rudely grilling vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro on foreign policy. Despite the pompous subtitle, a lighthearted look at life inside the one late-night show that takes the world seriously. (TV satellite tour)

Pub Date: June 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8129-2478-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1996

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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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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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