A rich, multifaceted and complex account of Ukraine’s often tumultuous and tragic past, along with its newly minted...

AN ORANGE REVOLUTION

A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH UKRAINIAN HISTORY

Scrupulous chronicle of Ukraine’s successful and bloodless mass demonstration, which in late 2004 proved that protest and civil disobedience can topple a corrupt regime.

In his first book, veteran journalist Krushelnycky captures the real-time suspense of a story whose outcome we already know by vividly characterizing the multiple parties and perspectives involved. We see the view from Putin’s Kremlin; from inside then-presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko’s camp; from Independence Square with Pora, the youth-centered opposition organization instrumental in organizing the first protests; and abreast of various figures and characters who formed the jigsaw puzzle of participation in or around Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution.” Krushelnycky successfully navigates rapid-fire narrative shifts between these groups by continually making connections between action and reaction, cause and effect. The book is not solely a political history, however. The son of Ukrainians who emigrated separately to England after World War II and married there in 1952, Krushelnycky also tells the story of his family’s participation in the fight for national unity and independence, providing a comprehensive history of Ukraine from World War I onward. Firsthand reporting and interviews with major players in the 2004 uprising combine to make a compelling case for the Ukrainians’ need to take to the streets to secure democratic rights. The author examines the failed assassination of Yushchenko and paints a technicolor portrait of the students, war veterans and intelligentsia who came to the capital in Kyiv to test their mettle by standing up to both a corrupt Ukrainian government and Soviet hegemony. He also shows the utter arrogance and contempt for ordinary citizens of Ukraine’s ruling party, “tight communist networks mutated into powerful oligarchic clans where government, corrupt business and organised crime intersected.”

A rich, multifaceted and complex account of Ukraine’s often tumultuous and tragic past, along with its newly minted democratic ideals.

Pub Date: July 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-436-20623-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Harvill Secker/Trafalgar

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2008

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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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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