This collection of papers on historical aspects of the White House suffers from both a surplus and a deficit of information. These papers were originally presented at a 1992 symposium celebrating the 200th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone for the White House. Dedicating the book to the late Jacqueline Onassis, Garrett, senior vice president of Sotheby's in New York City, could also have used the help of her disciplined editor's hand. While there is material of interest here both for the lay reader and the scholar, we are introduced too many times to George Washington's active interest in the design of the ``President's House,'' architect James Hoban's inspiration for the design (Leinster House in Dublin), Louis Comfort Tiffany's redecoration under President Chester Arthur, and Charles McKim's role in renovating the White House in 1902 under President Theodore Roosevelt. On the other hand, there is a dearth of adequate schematics that would help the reader follow the changes as greenhouses came and went and offices moved from first floor to second floor to West Wing. Compensation comes in the form of stories about how the stone for the original White Housesandstone of nearby Aquia Creekwas quarried and cut and how the ``imperialistic'' look of the McKim renovation coincided with a more ``imperial America.'' The color and black-and-white photographs and drawings, many familiar, arouse as much curiosity as they satisfy about what the White House looked like over the course of its history. A cheerful but essentially insubstantial chapter confirms that White House employees are closemouthed about First Families. A pleasant volume that does perhaps all it needs to do, which is pique curiosity about the dignified building that symbolizes so much to the American peopleand that, with growing security concerns, may become less and less accessible.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 1995

ISBN: 1-55553-222-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1995

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?


Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet