An intriguing and heartfelt read.



A reasoned yet impassioned argument for religious liberty for all.

Religious liberty attorney Uddin works from the concern that many Americans do not consider Islam to be a religion worthy of normal liberties or, worse, not a religion at all but an ideology or radical movement. Her overarching argument is that in treating Islam differently from other religions, the courts endanger religious rights for all Americans. While acknowledging that radicals in other nations have adversely affected the opinions of many Americans against Muslims, the author counters with various statistics that most American Muslims are not only law-abiding citizens, but also patriotic and increasingly progressive in their worldviews. Despite this, they continue to be targets of bullying, hostility, and organized opposition. From slurs and attacks on the street to broad-based movements to stop the construction of mosques and other Islamic centers, Muslims, and their liberties, are at constant risk. In dedicated chapters, Uddin tackles such particular issues as Sharia and the use of hijab, and she decries anti-Sharia legislation as adding “no value” to the legal system because they misinterpret Sharia. “Even in states where Muslims want a sharia-based legal code,” writes the author, “what they are asking for is not beheadings and amputations, but justice and fairness.” Similarly, she defends the hijab as a form of self-expression and not a symbol of oppression against women. Throughout, Uddin points to political conservatives as the enemies of American Islam and, unwittingly, as the potential undoing of all religious liberties. Nevertheless, she does not spare from criticism progressive voices who, while defending Muslims, actually hope to reform and Westernize the religion and see it as peopled by “good” or “bad” Muslims. The author laces her work with personal stories of growing up and living as a Muslim in America, explaining it as a source of empowerment despite the prevalence of bigotry and suspicion from fellow citizens.

An intriguing and heartfelt read.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64313-131-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

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