An impossible-to-put-down page-turner revealing the Mafia makeup and three courageous women who bore witness to save others.

THE GOOD MOTHERS

THE TRUE STORY OF THE WOMEN WHO TOOK ON THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL MAFIA

The highly compelling story of the women who dared to break omertà, the Mafia code of silence.

In fully developing his subjects, Perry (The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free, 2015, etc.) shows remarkable empathy for their plights. The women were raised in Calabria, the home to the ’Ndrangheta, an arm of the Mafia, just like the Camorra of Naples and the Cosa Nostra of Sicily. Italy cracked down on the Sicilian Mafia in the early 1980s, outlawing any relationship, even familial. By the mid-2000s, Cosa Nostra was a shadow of itself. Then the ’Ndrangheta stepped in, took over the narcotics trade, and expanded it to a multibillion-euro business. In 2009, a prosecutor named Alessandra Cerreti was assigned to Calabria, and her tireless work uncovered the truth. In this captivating true-crime narrative, the author paints a frightening and intimate picture of women’s misery under the rule of organized crime. Many were denied education, they knew their sons would end up murderers, and their daughters married early and were routinely abused. They were part of the clan, and voluntarily or not, women worked as messengers, bookkeepers, and heads of the business when their husbands were “unavailable.” In the mid-1990s, ’Ndrangheta wife Lea Garofalo left her husband, taking her daughter to inform against the Mafia. She spent years in the witness protection program; unfortunately, her witness produced no arrests. Garofalo and her daughter hid for years, knowing her husband was following them. She eventually attempted reconciliation, knowing full well she would likely be murdered. Fortunately, she was not the only woman who was fed up with the misogynist tyranny and oppression of the “family.” Giuseppina Pesce and Maria Concetta Cacciola were friends and were ready to talk. Both had children, and their information proved to be priceless. Desperate, their families used their children to try to get them back for the singular purpose of murdering them.

An impossible-to-put-down page-turner revealing the Mafia makeup and three courageous women who bore witness to save others.

Pub Date: June 5, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-265560-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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