From interviews and archival documents, Lascher creates a seamless narrative of daring and dedication.

EVE OF A HUNDRED MIDNIGHTS

THE STAR-CROSSED LOVE STORY OF TWO WWII CORRESPONDENTS AND THEIR EPIC ESCAPE ACROSS THE PACIFIC

Two journalists caught in war and love.

In 1936, when Stanford undergraduate Melville Jacoby first visited China on a student exchange program, he immediately felt drawn to the region and to travel. “The itch is perpetual,” he confessed. Jacoby returned to Stanford to focus his studies on Asian affairs and journalism, and by 1939, he had gathered enough writing assignments for a return to Asia. Briefly back in the United States, he met and fell in love with Annalee Whitmore, a writer who shared his fascination with the Far East. In 1941, she followed him there, and the two married. When journalist Lascher discovered that Mel Jacoby was his cousin, he was inspired to find out as much as he could about the man political journalist Theodore White called “one of the greatest U.S. war correspondents.” The result is a gripping, impressively researched debut, both a biography of Jacoby and a history of Asia in the throes of war. Mel and Annalee soon settled in Manila, where Mel became Time magazine’s Far East bureau chief; his reporting gave America its only “window onto the buildup for war in the Pacific.” Lascher ably conveys the frustration of Army officers with the “Europe First” strategy, which left them without necessary supplies and soldiers. He chronicles Japan’s increasing belligerence, the Nanking massacre, unceasing bombing, and internment of reporters. Fearing for their lives, Mel and Annalee left Manila, burning piles of notes before they fled to Corregidor. From there, they closely followed the war, including the “subdivision of hell” on the Bataan Peninsula. Soon, though, they needed to escape once more, this time making a slow, dangerous journey to Australia, traveling by boat only at night. From Melbourne, they learned of the Bataan Death March, which killed between 7,000 and 10,000 Americans and Filipinos.

From interviews and archival documents, Lascher creates a seamless narrative of daring and dedication.

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237520-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

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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