by Robert MacNeil

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PBS-TV Newshour presenter MacNeil coauthored the book and TV series The Story of English. Here he tells how, as a child, he began a lifelong fascination with languagethe crisp sea-words of Treasure Island , sonorous Bible phrases, Chaucer's pithiness, Shakespeare's magical syntax and, later, ``flashes of recognition'' from T. S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas, among others. Growing up during World War II in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where his naval father was based, MacNeil drank in the seacoast atmosphere but more avidly feasted on books. Later, his performances in school plays led to jobs in radio and a full-time broadcasting career, much of it in England, where he took a renewed interest in idioms and dialects. Not quite chronological, the author's account roves fondly back and forth between family memories and his love of words and language. 60,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate; author tour. (Mar.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
MacNeil is best known as the executive editor of the MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour , but he is also an author of note (e.g., with Robert McCrum and others, he wrote The Story of English, LJ 8/86; and he was editor of The Way We Were: 1963, The Year Kennedy Was Shot , LJ 11/1/88). This second memoir captures his love affair with the English language, which he traces to the music of his Canadian mother's voice as she read aloud to him from the King James Bible and to the imaginary vistas unlocked by disembodied words on the radio. Along the way, he rediscovers his delight in numerous authors, including Chaucer, and shares his pleasure with offbeat phrases. Finally, he worries that the currency of language is being cheapened and offers solutions to the problem. Lively, reflective, and well written. Recommended.-- Linda L. Rome, Mentor, Ohio

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Cengage Gale
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Large Print

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