WELCOME TO MOONBASE

"Welcome to Moonbase!" So begins this slyly amusing divertissement and bit of pro-space agitprop by Bova, former editor of Omni and Analog. Bova cleverly disguises his argument for a return to Luna in the form of a manual for workers—engineers, astronomers, doctors, attorneys—arriving on the moon for a one-year stint. He even throws in a sample contract between Moonbase, Inc. and employee, The manual explains the primary economic reason for a lunar base: to supply raw materials for earth-orbiting factories. Happily, the somber practicality behind the venture doesn't preclude fun: by the mid-21st century, humans also go to the moon as saucereyed tourists, eager to enjoy two unique pastimes—human-powered flight (a cinch in the moon's low gravity) and the chance to plant their footprints in lunar soil. Bova covers every aspect of lunar life, from personal hygiene (ultrasonic scrubbers in lieu of showers) to education (Moonbase U., founded 2023). A crafty lunarian, he peppers his mock manual with nifty little mock facts: that the first person buried on the moon is (will be?) Orlando Chavez, former US president; that the first lunar birth occurs on May 16, 2011, to a Russian; that the first astronaut to return to the moon after humankind's long hiatus is no more of a poet than Nell Armstrong, uttering the utterly forgettable sentence, "We're back, and this time we're here to stay." Great fun for kiddy astronauts, armchair explorers, and collectors of pseudo-documents.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1987

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1987

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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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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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