No matter: though his efforts to excavate the Adventure Galley are as tortured as Kidd's last days, Clifford still knows how...



An enjoyable re-creation of Captain William Kidd's last days, twined with pirate-hunter Clifford's (The Lost Fleet, 2002, etc.) efforts to locate the captain's last great privateering vessel.

Long a fascination of the author’s, Kidd left enough of a historical record that Clifford felt he might be able to locate “the real Treasure Island and find an archaeological treasure, the sunken flagship of one of the world's most notorious and misunderstood pirates.” His quest takes him to Ile Sainte-Marie, a current-day possession of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, an island considered by Clifford to be the only true pirate island, and where he expects to find the remains of the Adventure Galley. This was where Kidd had been dumped by his mutinous crew after an ill-fated privateering effort put together by a company of colonial and British notables, including the King of England, later much to his embarrassment. Clifford tells the woeful Kidd story well, though it is difficult to appreciate Kidd as “misunderstood”—his ship committed acts of piracy, and he hung for it—or that he had undertaken his ruinous privateering mission to improve his “social standing,” since he was already a man of considerable social and economic stature in New York City. But he was surely a rogue's rogue, and Clifford relates a number of shenanigans, including an episode in which he sent his men aloft to drop their drawers and moon a royal yacht. In alternating chapters, Clifford tells of his three expeditions in pursuit of the Adventure Galley and the endless struggles with Malagassy bureaucrats and a dreadful run-in with another dive team that opened up old rivalries. In the end, Clifford believes he’s located the ship, an excitement leavened by a handful of mumbo-jumbo about being guided by a dream. . . .

No matter: though his efforts to excavate the Adventure Galley are as tortured as Kidd's last days, Clifford still knows how to wring every drop of romance from his pirate-hunting.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-018509-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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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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