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Book reviews for "Quinn,_Arthur" sorted by average review score:

Figures of Speech: Sixty Ways to Turn a Phrase
Published in Paperback by Hermagoras Pr (1993)
Author: Arthur Quinn
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A good introduction to rhetoric
If I were to design high school cirrculums, rhetoric and logic would be a required subject, perhaps titled (un)creatively as "Survival skills for the Real World or How Not to Be Duped"

Quinn's book Figures of Speech would be one quite satisfactory text. The strength of the book is in its examples, the variety of sources. For example, asyndeton in a series of nouns is illustrated by quotes from the scripture, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Arnold, Darwin, Proust ... He illustrates asyndeton in series of clauses; in series of nouns; at the beginning, middle or end of a sentence. He warns of the effect of overusing the figure ... in short, without ever become boring, he shows you how to flush out a hiding asyndeton anywhere.

For those of you not educated under my ideal plan - asyndeton is the omission of conjunctions. Okay, this particular figure of speech may not effect your gullibility but I happened to like the examples given.

This book is only introductory but as such it is excellent. It is sufficiently slender and diverse to provide basic information without intimidating the reader with the plethora of classical rhetorical devices.

Asyndeton to Zeugma: A Guided Tour of Colorful Language
"A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms" provides a more complete study, but "Figures of Speech" is more user-friendly, more entertaining, more compact, more useful. "Handlist" proved to be more scholarly, "Figures" more practical. "Handlist" arranges the figures alphabetically, "Figures" by type. "Handlist" gives a few examples, "Figures" many. I found the examples in "Figures" to be lyrical, the commentaries whimsical, the results educational.

A linguistic bag of tricks
What Strunk & White did for syntax, Arthur Quinn does for rhetoric in this slim delightful book. The 60 figures covered enable sentences to say more than they mean, resonating with the writer's intent. Through examples drawn from sources as diverse as Homer, the Bible, Shakespeare, Romantic poetry and Abraham Lincoln's speeches, Quinn shows that concepts like metonymy and synecdoche, far from being erudite, are pervasive in the best literature.

Anyone with an interest in effective writing will enjoy and benefit from this book.

Hell With the Fire Out: A History of the Modoc War
Published in Paperback by Faber & Faber (1998)
Author: Arthur Quinn
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Objective and balanced account of a tragedy
Arthur Quinn treats with respect both perspcetives of one the Modoc War. The extreme brutality of both the American Government and the Modoc Warriors is reflected in a suprisingly unbiased manner.

Really Good
This book is very, very good for anybody interested in 1870 era American Indian conflicts, especially in Northern California. Story easy to follow, no unecessary words, facts etc., unless they're relevant to the story.
Reads as if it were a movie, but is all true, as judged on what I know of California frontier history.
Book is worth getting.

Well written and concise
During the height of the Indian conflicts on the plains a smaller,but no less deadly campaign was being waged against the Modocs of the Northwest. Like the Cheyenne after them, the Modocs were a small band whose numbers had already been reduced by warfare and desease. They were willing to live peacefully, only they wanted to live in their own homeland. And as with the Cheyenne, the military wasted much time money, and worst of all lives in order to bring these people to their knees. This is a concise and well-written account of that war.

Quinn is one of those historians who makes broad use of dialogue in his work. While many scholars take a scant view of this method, I think it works well, if done carefully. Certainly we can question how Quinn could possibly know exactly what was said, when there was no one there to record it. However, memoirs and journals often paraphrase, and if the writer has researched the characters and the times well enough, I think it is fair to allow him to make certain assumptions, especially as it brings such dimension to the characters.

Quinn's depiction of events is very exciting without crossing over into sensationalism. And though any story of Americans' treatment of the Indians invites a certain amount of moralizing, he does not go overboard, nor does he portray the Modocs as saints. He also does an excellent job of incorprating the landscape into the story. Quinn's depiction of the lava beds the Modocs called home makes it even more wondrous that the Americans found it so important for them to leave.

This was definitely a story that deserved to be told, and Quinn does a very good job of it.

A New World: An Epic of Colonial America from the Founding of Jamestown to the Fall of Quebec
Published in Paperback by Berkley Pub Group (1995)
Author: Arthur Quinn
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Good read, Not-so-good history
Arthur Quinn's goal -- to give the first 150 years of American colonial history the sweeping treatment the topic deserves -- is laudable. Quinn's attempt, unfortunately, falls far short of that goal. Simply put, the work just isn't a very good history book. Historians, professional and armchair, revel in linear detail like dates and places, and want to be certain that they are getting the whole picture. Quinn isn't bothered by such things, possibly because they might get in the way of the story he's trying to tell. Aside from his occasional, awkward forays into flights of literary greatness that, more often than not, just fall into tortured prose, Quinn's indifference to dates and some events is a fatal flaw in a work of history. For example, he completely ignores the Mayflower Compact (although we learn a great deal else about the Pilgrims), one of the most important documents in early American history, and has nothing to say of the death of Wolfe at Quebec, along with Montcalm. Quinn is so indifferent to noting months and years that a reader often loses track of where the story is in time. Those exclusions, and others like them, seriously weaken the book.

In the end, a reader should approach this book as an outline, a primer perhaps, that covers a compelling expanse of our past, and take it upon her or himself to fill in the gaps. For those readers who prefer narrative to history, then this book should be enough. It is full of fascinating, fatally flawed characters (and lots and lots of native Americans who like to eat those characters). For readers looking for a more detailed, textured understanding of our founding, this is a decent place to start -- if Quinn's writing style doesn't drive you crazy within the first 12 pages -- because it is organized decently and many highlights are there, but keep in mind that it is only a start.

An absolute pleasure to read. Never read a history book that was so hard to put down. Not your typical perspectives on colonizing North America. A gripping, vivid read.

Great Story Telling
Arthur Quinn loves America and American History. No, he doesn't say this anywhere in his book, "A New World", but his passion is obvious to anyone who reads this book. The pages are filled with his excitement which will draw in almost any reader, even those who normally do not like history. Better still, for those of us who do enjoy history, Quinn details portions of American History rarely covered in school or in other books.

The two things I liked best about A New World was Quinn's awareness of the times and his details about its people. Usually when we study or read about American History, it is in a void. Quinn is the first writer I have read who talks about how Machavilli influenced John Smith. John Smith, always a boring figure of the past, now seems like a wild adventurer to me.

Quinn also talks about Indian savagery. I never really appreciated why the Colonists had such fears or anger towards them. Our politically correct schools always teach us how Colonists took our land from others. I have never in school how some Indians tortured soliders so much before a battle, that the European troops gave up out of fear. Or how these same Indians would take a stick and slowly work it up the bone of a person from his hand to his shoulder. Not counting the constant war between some Indian Tribes and the colonist, these stories helped me understand the attitudes of those times much better.

After Barbara Tuchman's, The Guns of August, this is probably the best history work I have read. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Quinn. If you haven't read him yet, this book is a very good place to start.

Before Abraham Was: The Unity of Genesis 1-11
Published in Paperback by Ignatius Press (1989)
Authors: Isaac M. Kikawada and Arthur Quinn
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Weak argument designed to make Christians feel better
This book should be shelved next to "The Bible Codes". The Bible codes claimed to find meaningful patterns in the way letters are distributed through the bible; Kikawada and Quinn claim to find a meaningful pattern in the repetitions and contradictions of the biblical text. They claim this is the author's art, rather than evidence of separate texts having been sutured together.

Their reading is simply not convincing. The repititions in Genesis do not look like the similar repititions in other Near Eastern literature. They have a different quality, which is evident to any reader who is willing to look at the texts as historical documents rather than as some kind of lifeline to God.

The documentary hypothesis lives. Kikawada and Quinn are forgotten by all but a handful of tenacious Christians. Do a websearch and see who supports their theory - evangelical Christian organizations.

A Unitary Genesis
I am surprised that this book has never attracted the attention it should have. Quinn and Kikiwada, two Berkeley scholars, make a compelling case for reading Genesis 1-11 as a unified text. The documentary thesis, with the sometimes convoluted efforts to separated out even fragments of verses to various author,s was very much a product of late romanticism and the belief in the representation of time and progress in natural phenomena--from the discovery of time differentiation in sedimentary rocks to the awareness that star gazing was a look into different times simultaneously. This same documentary thesis was popular among Greek scholars at the same time. Few critics now argue that Homer's Iliad is a mere patchwork, yet the documentary thesis of the composition of Genesis remains.

With an extensive knowledge of linguistics, rhetoric, and literary theory as well as the careful use of the evidence used to jsutify the documentary thesis, Quinn and Kikiwada produce a reading of the first eleven chapters of Genesis which reveals a sophisticated and elegant construction that is far from being a patchwork or mosaic. Genesis 1-11 is a layering of chiasmus upon chiasmus, with each reinforcing the general themes of dispersion, a theme whic runs counter to that other closely related Near Eastern narratives of creation and the flood.

The late Arthur Quinn died prematurely, but it is time that biblical commentators and biblical scholars paid these two men their due.

A brilliant defense of scriptural unity.
In this fairly short and tightly reasoned book (unfortunately not now in print), Isaac Kikawada and Arthur Quinn argue very convincingly that the "documentary hypothesis" has had its day. Their thesis: that a hundred-odd years of scholarship inspired by Wellhausen's theory has _itself_ produced the very evidence which proves it false. In order to support this contention, the authors examine the portion of the Bible at which support for the "documentary hypothesis" seems strongest: the story of Noah and the Flood. And true to their aim, they deftly show that the very features of the text which seem to support multiple authorship can, when viewed slightly differently, also be seen as evidence that the text is the work of a single author capable of great brilliance and subtlety. It is this last point that I think deserves the greatest emphasis. Too often, the stories of the Jewish scriptures are written off as "primitive" or "barbaric," and superficial contradictions or immoralities are taken as evidence of the unsophistication of the text's author(s) and target audience. Recognizing and questioning our hidden assumption here is an essential step toward recognizing the possibility that -- as Kikawada and Quinn put it -- if we think we spot an error in the text, it is more likely we who are at fault. For consider: since the "documentary hypothesis" requires a "redactor" who was not unduly concerned about obvious "contradictions," why do we rule out the possibility that a _single_ author might have been similarly unconcerned? And if the latter possibility is _not_ ruled out, why do we assume that these apparent "contradictions" are not stylistic contrivances that are intended for a more sophisticated audience than we have thus far considered? And in that case, might not the very features of the text revealed by proponents of the "documentary hypothesis" be themselves evidence of a deeper unity and design? Why, rather than look for such unity and design, do we assume the "redactor" must have been so stupid as to be unable to recognize difficulties that are obvious to any child (and indeed were discussed in the Talmudic literature at least two millennia ago)? Kikawada and Quinn have laid waste to the "documentary hypothesis" by accepting what is good in it and showing that it undermines itself. This little book will be of interest to all who wish to defend the integrity of Scripture, and especially to readers of Umberto Cassuto's _The Documentary Hypothesis_ (unfortunately not now in print either).

American Fiction: An Historical and Critical Survey
Published in Hardcover by Irvington Pub (1988)
Author: Arthur H. Quinn
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Arthur Campbell: Pioneer and Patriot of the "Old Southwest"
Published in Library Binding by McFarland & Company (1990)
Author: Hartwell L. Quinn
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Audiences and Intentions: A Book of Arguments
Published in Paperback by MacMillan Coll Div (1994)
Authors: Nancy Mason Bradbury and Arthur Quinn
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Before Abraham Was: A Provocative Challenge to the Documentary Hypothesis
Published in Paperback by Ignatius Press (1989)
Authors: Isaac M. Kikawada and Arthur Quinn
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Broken shore : the Marin Peninsula : a perspective on history
Published in Unknown Binding by Peregrine Smith ()
Author: Arthur Quinn
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Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography
Published in Textbook Binding by McGraw-Hill/Appleton & Lange (1941)
Author: Arthur Hobson Quinn
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