Plain Style: A Guide to Written English
University of Pennsylvania Press, May 3, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 121 pages
Plain Style is an amusing and instructive guide to written English by the late Christopher Lasch, author of The Culture of Narcissism, The True and Only Heaven, and many other memorable works of American history and social criticism. Written for the benefit of the students at the University of Rochester, where Lasch taught from 1970 until his death in 1994, it quickly established itself in typescript as a local classic—a lively, witty, and historically minded alternative to the famous volume by William Strunk and E. B. White, The Elements of Style.
Now available for the first time in published form, Plain Style is fundamentally a clear, readable, practical guide to the timeless principles of effective composition. At the same time, however, in ways that Stewart Weaver explains in his critical introduction, it is a distinctive and revealing addition to the published work of an eminent American thinker. No mere primer, Plain Style is an essay in cultural criticism, a political treatise even, by one for whom directness, clarity, and honesty of expression were essential to the living spirit of democracy.
As the teachers and students who have for years benefited from its succinct wisdom will testify, Plain Style is an indispensable guide to writing and, indeed, Christopher Lasch's least-expected but perhaps most serviceable work.