"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."