Thompson (Imaginary Landscape, 1989; Pacific Shift, 1986, etc.) levels his futurist's gaze on the technology of fantasy and illusion, which, he says, is transforming nearly all spheres of life. With wry wit, Thompson delivers a scary vision of an increasingly dehumanized world in which America—``an electronic Umwelt in which history is replaced with movies, education is replaced with entertainment, and nature is replaced with technology''—is busy conquering all the world's cultures with its anticultural religion of Disney. The natural world, including the human, the author predicts, will give way to the new creation of new businesses: biospheres that capture the genetic capital of medicinal plants; electronic advances that make flesh obsolete; virtual-reality suits that manufacture experiences for those who sit within them. In his riveting tour through Disney's EPCOT Center, his description of the ``electropeasantry'' that votes on the basis of like and dislike, and his discussion of whether the coming world is an incarnation of the demon Ahriman, Thompson offers a range of disturbing material on the dark side of so-called progress. Also notable is his analysis of why the Gulf War, even if engineered, had to occur to prevent a splintering of the world into ethnic rivalries. Sobering and powerful when diagnosing the ills technology is ushering in; less convincing when searching for a positive ``evolutionary'' purpose for such transformations.
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").
This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)