WHITE-OUT

THE CIA, DRUGS AND THE PRESS

An investigative report on the CIA’s involvement in drug dealing and other nefarious deeds and the failure of the press to expose them. Nation columnist Cockburn and St. Clair (co-writer with Cockburn and Ken Silverstein of the newsletter Counterpunch) begin their tale with an account of Gary Webb’s series in the San Jose Mercury News on the CIA’s connection with drug cartels in Latin America. The series set off a firestorm in the African-American community, as it appeared the US government was involved in bringing the plague of crack cocaine to poor black communities. The mainstream press—the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.—pilloried Webb, attacking the accuracy of his reporting and accusing him of fanning —black paranoia.— In the final chapter of the book, however, the authors offer an analysis of a subsequent CIA report that by and large substantiated Webb’s charges. The theme of the book is clear: the CIA acts badly, the mainstream press not only ignores but protects the CIA, yet it turns out the CIA is usually guilty of doing whatever it has been accused of. Cockburn and St. Clair present a litany of CIA misdeeds, from the recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII to the arming of opium traffickers in Afghanistan. All of this is extremely well documented; much of it is well known, or should be. Yet what they do not do, despite the promise of the title, is spend much time on the press. Questions remain unanswered, under-theorized: Why does so much of the press seem subservient to the CIA? What are the mechanisms underlying this relationship? Does the CIA buy off the press, are reporters on the CIA payroll, or is there simply a cultural and class affinity between the press and the CIA that makes bribing unnecessary? A chilling history—that many will take issue with—of what the CIA has been up to the past 50 years, but disappointing in its analysis.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 1998

ISBN: 1-85984-139-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Verso

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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