Well-researched but with limited appeal.



An educational policy expert examines the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that marked the early years of the Yale University experiment in coeducation.

Until 1969, Yale was “a village of men.” But as Perkins, the first woman editor-in-chief of the Yale Daily News, shows, Yale faced cultural currents from within and without that forced it to change. Coeducation had been the norm at Harvard, Yale’s closest Ivy peer, since 1943. By 1968, Yale students were demanding an end to the “stifling social environment” that forced them to seek female company in women bused in from all-women colleges like Vassar. In the end, the students got their wish, but the early years of the transition to a coeducational campus were tumultuous. Behind-the-scenes administrative power struggles emerged between Yale President Kingman Brewster and Elga Wasserman, the assistant dean who spearheaded coeducation efforts. Kingman favored a slow transition that would still leave female students far outnumbered by males. By contrast, Wasserman, a perpetually embattled female administrator in a system controlled by men, favored greater parity sooner rather than later. The “threadbare budget” Yale provided Wasserman also proved problematic, especially in her efforts to create a safer campus for female undergraduates, who dealt with sexual harassment from both their professors and male peers. Perkins’ interviews with some of the 575 young women undergraduates who came to Yale in 1969 reveal that many felt alienated and alone. Despite the challenges they faced—such as housing and health care facilities that did not take their needs into account—the first women students at Yale found strength in the bonds they created with each other and through the nascent feminist movement, and they went on to open doors to other women in all-male domains such as the Yale athletics and marching band programs. As it celebrates female achievement, the author’s focus on a single university also narrows the readership to scholars of higher education and a Yale-affiliated audience.

Well-researched but with limited appeal.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-8774-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 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 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...


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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