Hope finds a prominent presence in what so many think is a hopeless, endless conflict.
A military, intelligence, and political veteran rehearses his life and career in Israel.
Ayalon has had a distinguished career, serving as the head of the Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency; commander in chief of the navy; and member of the Knesset. In his latest book—written with the assistance of David, who has published widely on Israeli and Palestinian issues—Ayalon discusses his dawning realization that no progress can occur in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict until both sides develop empathy for one another. This position did not make him popular with regional hard-liners. The author has several stories to tell: his autobiography, the history of that sanguinary conflict, the process of writing this book. Some chapters include interviews with key players on both sides. Ayalon notes that, early in his career, his life was kill-or-be-killed, and he writes about his military encounters with candor and, sometimes, gory detail—which also accompanies his multiple descriptions of terrorist attacks by Hamas and others and the harsh Israeli military reactions. After leaving the military for intelligence work, he began to meet with Palestinian leaders (including Yasser Arafat) and with the leaders of his own country. Ayalon has nothing but disdain for Ariel Sharon and others who believed that war and revenge were essential. The author also became a prominent peace activist, even creating a peace proposal with Sari Nuseibeh, a Palestinian professor and activist. They promoted their plan widely, but hawkish politicians (in the region and elsewhere, including the U.S.) remained dominant. There is a bit of self-flattery here: Ayalon continually notes that he tells the truth, no matter what—while others, by implication and action, do not. Still, his aims and accomplishments are so undeniably impressive that open-minded readers will quickly forgive him these light trespasses. Dennis Ross provides the foreword.Hope finds a prominent presence in what so many think is a hopeless, endless conflict.
Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020
Page Count: 300
Review Posted Online: July 13, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020
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by David Grann ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 18, 2017
Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2017
New York Times Bestseller
National Book Award Finalist
Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.
During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.
Pub Date: April 18, 2017
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017
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by Britney Spears ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 24, 2023
Spears’ vulnerability shines through as she describes her painful journey from vulnerable girl to empowered woman.
A heartfelt memoir from the pop superstar.
Spears grew up with an alcoholic father, an exacting mother, and a fear of disappointing them both. She also displayed a natural talent for singing and dancing and a strong work ethic. Spears is grateful for the adult professionals who helped her get her start, but the same can’t be said of her peers. When she met Justin Timberlake, also a Mouseketeer on the Disney Channel’s updated Mickey Mouse Club, the two formed an instant bond. Spears describes her teenage feelings for Timberlake as “so in love with him it was pathetic,” and she’s clearly angry about the rumors and breakup that followed. This tumultuous period haunted her for years. Out of many candidates for villains of the book, Timberlake included, perhaps the worst are the careless journalists of the late 1990s and early 2000s, who indulged Timberlake while vilifying Spears. The cycle repeated for years, taking its toll on her mental health. Spears gave birth to sons Sean Preston and Jayden James within two years, and she describes the difficulties they all faced living in the spotlight. The author writes passionately about how custody of her boys and visits with them were held over her head, and she recounts how they were used to coerce her to make decisions that weren’t always in her best interest. As many readers know, conservancy followed, and for 13 years, she toured, held a residency in Las Vegas, and performed—all while supposedly unable to take care of herself, an irony not lost on her. Overall, the book is cathartic, though readers who followed her 2021 trial won’t find many revelations, and many of the other newsworthy items have been widely covered in the run-up to the book’s release.Spears’ vulnerability shines through as she describes her painful journey from vulnerable girl to empowered woman.
Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023
Page Count: 288
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023
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