A more positive view of Donald Trump than most Americans have—though the text ends with the election.

THE METHOD TO THE MADNESS

DONALD TRUMP'S ASCENT AS TOLD BY THOSE WHO WERE HIRED, FIRED, INSPIRED--AND INAUGURATED

Two journalists team up, conduct more than 100 interviews with key figures in (and out of) Camp Trump, and conclude his decision to run for president was far from impulsive.

In Hamlet, Polonius said of the prince’s psychological state, “though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” Salkin (From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, 2013, etc.) and Short, both of whom have written for the New York Post, set out to prove that the same is true of President Donald Trump. The text comprises snippets of interviews with a variety of sources, from Al Sharpton and Gloria Allred to Anthony Scaramucci and Steve Bannon. (The entire list of contributors, which includes journalists, political figures, and advisers, consumes eight pages.) The authors also chime in continually throughout the 32 chapters. They endeavor to show a different Trump than the one many imagine. Here is a man who takes notes during meetings (!), is a sharp questioner, often displays a long attention span, was willing to alter his positions to appeal to his base, and flirted with running for political office any number of times (including governor of New York) but who always changed his mind. The authors elicit praise from those who are/were close to him, such as Bannon and Tucker Carlson. Not every interview subject, of course, has fond memories, and readers with Trump fatigue should stay away. Some contributors comment about his arrogance (taking credit for “Make America Great Again”—a slogan Ronald Reagan had used), fondness for attractive women, and thin skin. He was, for example, friendly with the Clintons until candidate Hillary seemed to blame his positions for the 2015 South Carolina church shooting. So the escalator ride down to his announcement was thoroughly planned, even inevitable. Other contributors include Katie Couric, David Cay Johnston, Glenn Beck, Ralph Nader, and Roger Stone.

A more positive view of Donald Trump than most Americans have—though the text ends with the election.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20280-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: All Points/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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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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