An important book that gives coherence to a massive data dump.

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WIKILEAKS, WAR AND AMERICAN DIPLOMACY, COMPLETE AND UPDATED COVERAGE BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

Thoughtful analysis of one of the largest leaks of classified information in history—how it happened, what the secret documents say and what it all means.

In its first e-book, the New York Times brings welcome order to the chaos of the hundreds of thousands U.S. government documents released last year by the elusive and volatile hacker Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowers’ website. In addition to the newspaper’s own extensive news and op-ed coverage, including the texts of military and diplomatic documents published on the Times website, the book has an extended insider’s essay on the entire episode by Times executive editor Bill Keller, as well as profiles of both Assange and Army Private Bradley Manning, his suspected source. Keller details his six-month experience working with the “secretive cadre of anti-secrecy vigilantes” known as WikiLeaks, whose release of the candid documents about world leaders and events embarrassed the U.S. government. A Times team created a searchable database of the material: 500,000 military dispatches on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 250,000 confidential cables between the State Department and 270 U.S. embassies and consulates. Keller says the newspaper acted responsibly in publishing the documents, redacting information that might endanger lives. The book includes contrasting views as well as reflections on the episode’s implications for the future of secrecy and diplomacy in the digital age. Both Assange and Manning emerge as bright, attention-seeking outsiders from unstable backgrounds. Assange, envisioning WikiLeaks as a new “scientific journalism” allowing people to judge facts for themselves, became increasingly erratic as his notoriety grew. Manning landed in a brig, where he awaits trial. One-third of the book consists of solid, old-fashioned journalism, offering the context and background needed to understand the documents. With links to cables and images, a helpful glossary and an appendix of significant photographs, the text takes full advantage of the capabilities of the e-book format.

An important book that gives coherence to a massive data dump.

Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2011

ISBN: 9780615439570

Page Count: -

Publisher: The New York Times

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2011

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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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

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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