How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail.




The story of how perpetrators of World War II were treated as spoils of war, brought to light with new information in this diligent report.

Generations after Germany was defeated, disturbing revelations about the recruitment of Nazi scientists—Operation Paperclip—still appear. Jacobsen (Area 51: The Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base, 2011) expands previous material with the use of documents recently released under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as personal interviews, memoirs, trial evidence and obscure dossiers. It’s not a pleasant story. Weapons of mass destruction were born at war’s end, and in Europe, scientists were victors’ prizes, reparations for conquerors who coveted their special talents. They were Luftwaffe doctors, rocket scientists, managers and chemists working on all sorts of bad science for bad ends. Japan was still to be defeated, and national security required their services; it was important for business. However, the primary reason posited as the Cold War developed was: If we don’t get those wizard warriors, Russia will. As such, the once–high-ranking Nazis who used slave labor to fabricate V2 rockets, who killed concentration camp prisoners in cruel experiments and who sought to weaponize bubonic plague became the property of the United States. Of the many hundreds of Paperclip scientists, many were convicted war criminals. Former enemies became American citizens; rewarded for their work, they lived the American dream. The operation took paperwork, and Jacobsen, in her research of the documents, found countless instances of mendacity. She provides snapshots of the scores of villains and the few heroes involved in collusion of the Nazis and U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Throughout, the author delivers harrowing passages of immorality, duplicity and deception, as well as some decency and lots of high drama.

How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-316-23982-0

Page Count: 680

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

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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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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