A fervent, entertaining journey back to a time when print media still mattered.

LATE EDITION

A LOVE STORY

A valedictory hymn to the daily newspaper, composed by a lifelong journalist who began his career cranking carbon paper into newsroom typewriters and now blogs from his laptop.

CNN contributor Greene, who has written for decades on American culture and politics (When We Get to Surf City: A Journey Through America in Pursuit of Rock and Roll, Friendship, and Dreams, 2008, etc.)—launched his career in the 1960s as a teen copyboy for the now-defunct Columbus Citizen-Journal. The author begins his account in the fall of 2008 aboard a CNN presidential-campaign bus rolling through Columbus and passing the building where his career had begun. Nostalgia grips him and does not let go for the duration of the book. Though never mawkish, the text follows the emotional coming-of-age story of a misfit who found a roomful of other misfits at the Citizen-Journal. Greene describes his various duties at the paper—summer jobs as copyboy, sportswriter and reporter—while he was in high school and college. He recalls the ecstasy of seeing his words in print for the first time—and, later, his first byline and his first page-one story. He cannot explain some of his early impulses—stepping out on the golf course to walk alongside Arnold Palmer during a tournament (Arnie chatted amiably, gave him a good story), writing and submitting copy without authorization—but it’s his newshound instincts that he is trying to comprehend. Greene most eloquently describes the atmosphere at the Citizen-Journal—the sounds of clacking typewriters and clattering Linotype machines, the clutter and the coffee—and the colorful personalities of his colleagues. He writes of celebrities who drifted through Columbus—Ozzie and Harriet, Nelson Rockefeller—and muses about the incomprehensibility that anything would ever change.

A fervent, entertaining journey back to a time when print media still mattered.

Pub Date: July 7, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-312-37530-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2009

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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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