For liberals already mad about the health care debate, this book offers compelling reasons to stay angry.



A freelance journalist investigates one of Donald Trump’s officials and the battle for health care in America.

Zaitchik (The Gilded Rage, 2016, etc.) continues to rail against the far right in his latest work. For this slim but detailed volume, he concentrates on one man in particular: the Trump administration’s choice for Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price. The author admits it is a seemingly innocuous selection on the surface, but asserts: “There is a stink around Tom Price. A deep, unprecedented, flies abuzz stink.” That “stink” starts in the late 1980s with the merger of Price’s suburban orthopedic practice into a major medical company, positioning him for wealth and a seat in Congress. Using voting records and late-night C-SPAN debates, Zaitchik builds the portrait of a doctor who sees health care as little more than an extension of corporate greed. According to the author, Price only believes in “patient choice and the public’s sacred right to get fleeced by the pharmaceutical companies.” The massive amount of public records evidence tracks Price from his days opposing Bill Clinton-era reforms to his all-out assaults against the Affordable Care Act, creating the narrative of a “foot soldier” rising to prominence by following Republicans and lobbyists. From the title to the comic book-style cover, the volume wants the reader to see Price as Zaitchik does: a T-1000 model Republican with cyborglike dedication—a cartoon villain. The author does a tremendous job synthesizing the larger health care debate and Price’s entanglements with private interests while weaving in some laugh-out-loud jabs. But however fun those turns of phrase might be, his target audience will likely not be shocked that a Trump pick makes decisions based on money. At the same time, Zaitchik’s outlook is too black and white to mold a powerful, reasoned argument about health care that could change minds. For a work focused on one man, not digging deeper into Price the person with at least some benefit of the doubt seems like a missed opportunity—after all, the best villains are often more than ooze. They’ve got some humanity too.

For liberals already mad about the health care debate, this book offers compelling reasons to stay angry. 

Pub Date: June 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947492-02-8

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Strong Arm Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2017

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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