A back-to-the-land and back-to-the-old-ways collection of often charming autobiographical essays. Wetherell, a novelist (The Wisest Man in America, 1995, etc.), and short-story writer and a longtime resident of the hill country of western New Hampshire, is a resolutely happy man, blessed, he writes, with a perfect mate and a perfect home. He finds his happiness to be due in large part to the simplicity of his life; he owns no television, writes only grudgingly on an electric typewriter, and refuses to purchase a computer. Wetherell occasionally belabors his us-against-the-world stance, but he has a point; his book is full of little pieces on life's simple pleasures, like reading, or gazing at the stars, or contemplating the history of his forebears and the ways of his neighbors. ``I am revealing myself to be as extinct as a dinosaur, dead as a dodo, a relic of another era, a footnote to an age that not only rushes ahead in heedless bondage to the new, but tramples in contempt on anyone who stubbornly refuses to keep pace,'' he writes. That stubbornness takes a sometimes curmudgeonly tone, as when Wetherell grumps at the noises his neighbors make with their V8 engines and boom boxes. But more often Wetherell is a courtly critic of the modern age, an age in which ``it's becoming impossible to live with any kind of economic modesty,'' even way out in the sticks. Still, he sees signs of hope for a return to at least some of the old ways, including a reemerging ethos of repairing rather than discarding, a yearning for community, and a newfound ``reverence . . . for the land.'' A pleasing declaration in favor of the country life.

Pub Date: March 1, 1998

ISBN: 1-55821-651-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1997

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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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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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