Although not primarily a reviewer of legal materials, Kirkus Reviews is one of the most outstanding and respected review magazines devoted to book media. It was founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893-1981) a former head of the children’s book department of Harper & Bros. with the idea of holding book reviewing to a very high standard, being selective in both the books reviewed and the people assgned to review them. The first year they received about 20 advance galley proofs.
By all accounts Kirus has managed to maintain these high standards throughout the years, becomeing one of the true standard bearers for the authoritative reviewing of all types of titles including those related to law. According to their website, Kirkus currently reviews about 5,000 titles per year “with the idea of of providing Kirkus regulars (librarians, newspaper editors, agents, film producers, booksellers, and those throughout the book world in general) with professional, informative, and impartial descriptive evaluations of forthcoming titles, and to do so on a timely basis.”
This is a tall order whch even under the best conditions would be difficult to duplicate under present conditions. It was therefore distressing to hear last month that Kirkus Reviews would be shut down and cease publication..
Hopefully miracles do happen because I was informed today that a business deal is currently being worked out with a new buyer and that Kirkus will not suspend publication as announced earlier. This is great news for all who love and respect books. The world will remin a much better place if Kirkus and other organizations like it can be resurrected and continue setting high standards for all of us.