An absorbing narrative history of bloody struggles for dominance over the once- pristine, vast, and rich Ohio River Valley and its thousand-mile river. In the Ohio Valley, Indian tribes had long warred among themselves until the fierce Shawnees took control. They would later oppose the French and British, newcomers who also contested each other for the great prize. Eckert (A Sorrow in Our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh, 1992, etc.) employs his novelist's skills by expanding well-researched accounts of historical characters, mined from letters, diaries, and anecdotes, into numerous episodic tales of exciting and sometimes tragic adventures. By providing a long prologue with a full historical background and at times ``reconstituting'' credible dialogue among people in briefly reported events, Eckert heightens the drama. He finds heroes and villains among the hunters, trappers, surveyors, soldiers, and hard-working pioneer families; Indians who believed in the white man's treaty boundary lines until the lines were overrun by hordes of claim-staking people from the East, attracted by freedom and the promise of a better life; British aristocrats and bureaucrats trying to rule from safe havens like Williamsburg but eventually losing control of the restless flow of people moving west. Senseless murders of both Indian and white families by a few criminals on either side grew into wars without mercy—fueled by fear, hatred, and vengeance—that killed Indian, British-American, and French in wholesale numbers. Including sketches of such figures as the young George Washington, Daniel Boone, and George Rogers Clark, Eckert takes us through the French and Indian War and the American revolutionary period to 1799, when, at last, peace came to the Ohio River Valley. Eckert's scholarship and style breathe life into the records of a turbulent time in the history of colonial America. (maps, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 1995

ISBN: 0-553-09448-3

Page Count: 864

Publisher: Bantam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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


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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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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