From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A fan's meticulously researched, big-hearted tribute to a sturdy, perennial writing guide, this history of Elements of Style is complete and unreservedly affectionate. Assembled by William Strunk Jr. in the early 20th century for his college writing courses, Elements of Style's ascent began when a young E.B. White (then Elwyn White) enrolled in Strunk's course in 1919. Though it made no apparent impression on White at the time, he rediscovered it many years later as a staffer at The New Yorker; his 1957 New Yorker essay celebrating its "squeaky voice from the past" and emphasis on fundamentals caught the eye of MacMillian textbook editor, Jack Case. Soon, the two were working on Elements' rerelease. Before and after its publication, White polished and defended his professor's stern notional aphorisms ("Omit needless words") while refashioning broader themes to suit the times. Publishing vet Garvey provides considerable context, detailing both Strunk and White's careers, and positing them as "master boat builder" and "pilot," respectively, of a vessel that would for decades navigate readers toward clear, expository writing. Spiking his homage with thoughts from contemporary writers (Nicholas Baker loves that Elements represents "an act of affection toward a former professor"), Garvey crafts an ebullient but (suitably) efficient tribute to a much loved writing guide.
"I had no idea there were so many delightful anecdotes to be told about the birth and life of one of my favorite little books." -- Will Schwalbe, coauthor of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better
"Whether you love or hate The Elements of Style,
Garvey's infectious enthusiasm and riveting glimpse into Strunk's and White's lives make this book irresistible." -- Mignon Fogarty, author of the New York Times
bestseller Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
"A gem of a book about a gem of a book.... Stylized
is an exquisite homage that Strunk and White would heartily approve." -- Jack Heffron, author of The Writer's Idea Book
"If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style.
The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they're happy." -- Dorothy Parker on The Elements of Style
"This original, thoroughly researched work is recommended for both academics and for nonstudents who love writing."-- Library Journal
"An eminently readable tribute."-- Booklist
"Much more than basic history and undeniably obsessive." -- New York Times Book Review
"Garvey crafts an ebullient but (suitably) efficient tribute to a much loved writing guide." -- Publishers Weekly
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.