An admirably balanced account of the first Nuremberg trial, by Telford (Munich, 1979, etc.), who helped prosecute the Nazi war criminals. Taylor has allowed nearly half a century to elapse before writing about the trials in order, he says, to provide opportunity for reflection. He concludes that the trials were necessary; that nothing less would have met the worldwide demand for punishment; and that, above all, they created a precedent to punish aggressive wars in the future—but his account is surprisingly, if legitimately, critical of the proceedings. Their greatest flaw, Taylor believes, was the presence of Soviet judges, which led to an almost total absence of acknowledgment of the Nazi-Soviet Pact dividing Poland in 1939 and of the Soviet attack on eastern Poland, as well as to the ``travesty'' of the effort to allocate responsibility for the massacre at Katyn. Another serious flaw was the specific selection of the defendants, including Hess, who was probably insane; Schacht, who—though he had played a considerable economic role in the 30's—had been stripped of all honors during the war and had ended it in a concentration camp; and Streicher, who—though a nasty Jew-baiter—was, Taylor believes, unjustly executed. Most incredible of all was the misunderstanding between the British and American prosecutors as to whether the court would indict Gustave Krupp or his son Alfried. Despite these problems, the results of Nuremberg were largely just, Taylor says, and they helped deter actions that would have discredited the entire Allied victory: The British initially were in favor of summarily executing most of the German defendants, he explains, and Eisenhower suggested exterminating the entire German general staff, the leaders of the Nazi Party from mayors on up, and all members of the Gestapo. A thoughtful, fair, and eloquent memoir that marshals the evidence on each side with such an even hand as to be probably definitive. (Forty-two photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1992

ISBN: 0-394-58355-8

Page Count: 736

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1992

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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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