The fabulous friends of film producer Deutsch, who clearly has lived a dream life. In 1924, nine-year-old Deutsch, grandson of the chairman of Sears, Roebuck and Col, was the chosen victim for the crime of the century when his Chicago neighbors, Nietzschean homosexuals Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, set out to perform an untraceable murder. Deutsch however had to go to the dentist after school, and so young Bobby Franks was murdered in his place. Since then Deutsch's life has been equally charmed. He met studio head Dore Schary at a party, was told by Schary he'd make a good producer, and soon found himself producing B-pictures for MGM. Which brings up the three Barrymores, all of whom he worked with at one time or another. But then he also must tell us about arranging Joe Louis's last championship fight before Louis's induction into the Army for WW II. And about ten years of high times at the Frank Sinatra compound at Palm Springs, with Frank as the world' greatest host. And about Armand's long friendships with Robert Taylor and with his favorite actor, the alcoholic Louis Calhern, for whom he produced The Magnificent Yankee, and about his long ties with Billy Wilder, art collector and compulsive shopper; his great friendship with billionaire art collector Walter Annenberg; his producing chores with young Nancy Davis and later annual parties with the Reagans; his world travels with sunny punster/publisher Bennett Cerf; his rich Christmases with Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Stewart (Jimmy watches It's a Wonderful Life every Christmas, along with millions of other Americans). Highlights among nothing but highlights, include exciting evening flights with Sinatra to Buffalo or somewhere for a one-night stand and getting back to Manhattan for a midnight Italian feast; and a heartbreaking fight with Bogart that ends with Bogie dying while Deutsch cries in Romanoff's men's room. A great get-well giftto yourself or anyone who needs a dreamlift.

Pub Date: May 9, 1991

ISBN: 0-399-13595-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1991

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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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