A heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about truth, justice, and the need for criminal justice reform.

THE SUN DOES SHINE

HOW I FOUND LIFE AND FREEDOM ON DEATH ROW

An urgent, emotional memoir from one of the longest-serving condemned death row inmates to be found innocent in America.

One night in July 1985, Hinton was locked in a secure warehouse of a supermarket for his overnight shift when, 15 miles away, the assistant manager of a local restaurant was kidnapped at gunpoint, robbed, and shot in the head. Less than a week later, police showed up at Hinton’s house to arrest him for that crime and the murders of two other local Alabama restaurant managers. Hinton was black, 29, living at home with his mother, and innocent of all charges. At his trial, his lawyer presented an incompetent defense that failed to refute the state’s distorted evidence and several witnesses’ false claims. Hinton was found guilty of two counts of capital murder and sentenced to death by electric chair. For the next three decades, he maintained his innocence in solitary confinement on Alabama’s death row, where he watched more than 50 men led past his cell to the execution chamber just 30 feet away. The truth of Hinton’s innocence and his unshakable faith in God helped him cope with prison life and several failed repeal attempts until Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, eventually took up his case and brought it all the way to the Supreme Court. After nearly 30 years, all charges against Hinton were dropped, and he was released from prison in 2015. Woven into vivid descriptions of life behind bars are flashbacks to the author’s childhood, court transcripts, police documents, news clippings, and correspondence that reveal the roles racism, poverty, and fear played in creating a deeply biased criminal justice system that punishes the poor and people of color. Stevenson (Just Mercy, 2014) provides a powerful foreword.

A heart-wrenching yet ultimately hopeful story about truth, justice, and the need for criminal justice reform.

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-12471-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

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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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