THE TWILIGHT OF SOVEREIGNTY

HOW THE INFORMATION REVOLUTION IS TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD

Wriston (Risk and Other Four-Letter Words, 1985), former chief of Citibank and an emir of Wall Street prior to its Era of Excess, ponders the future and finds it pretty good. Information, factual and financial, electronically girdles the globe like the rings of Saturn. Knowledge, more than ever, is power in the global village, and information is wealth. Information, resolved into the thousand points of computer light on the trading floors of the world, is a form of wealth, Wriston says, that no sovereign nation or transnational corporation will be able to control or contain. With the advent of instantaneous communication, national borders dissolve. Mighty enterprises are no longer situated in particular places, subject to simple authority. Current accounting theory is inadequate and the notion of gross national product is outdated. Information, the author continues, is ``the virus that is carrying the powerful idea of freedom to the four corners of the world, and modern technology assures that sooner rather than later everyone on the planet will have heard the message.'' Wriston places scant value on the future value of fixed wealth, like real estate, and he doesn't discuss oil. He assumes that the information forming the new wealth will be true (he spends some time on cryptography) and that the messages of freedom will be honest. He doesn't discuss the need to handle the handlers, the creators of the S&L debacle, and the junk-bond pirates, all masters of misinformation through modern technology. His thesis, nevertheless, is potent and curiously attractive. Discursive, thoughtful, and full of significant implications for the future of world economics and public policy.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-684-19454-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1992

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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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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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