A refreshingly unpretentious statement of personal history and political accomplishment that avoids the pitfall of excessive...

SON OF A GAMBLING MAN

MY JOURNEY FROM A CASINO FAMILY TO THE GOVERNOR'S MANSION

The candid account of how the son of a casino owner who consorted with Chicago gangsters found his way into Nevada state politics and into the governor's mansion.

Chicago native Miller was just 10 years old when his illegal bookmaker father got the opportunity to run "a legal (but posh) gambling resort in…Las Vegas." The Sin City of the 1950s bore no resemblance to the sprawling metropolis it would become: "Las Vegas spread out like boiling water on a flat surface, the streets almost swallowed by the desert." Here, Miller's father was able to remake himself into a highly respected casino businessman and pillar of the community. After studying law, a profession his father had once dreamed of pursuing, the author began working in the field of law enforcement. Eventually, he ran for and was elected Clark County district attorney, but not without running into the shadow of his father's colorful past. In an attempt to discredit him, his opponent had suggested that Miller could never be "an impartial county prosecutor if [he] was the son of someone in the gaming business," especially someone who had dealt with former mobsters. This would not be the last time Miller would encounter this kind of prejudice. Throughout the remainder of a political career that would ultimately lead him to the Nevada governor's mansion, Miller successfully staved off attacks against both his character, as well as that of his father. He never apologizes for what his father was, nor does he attempt to play down his father's activities. Rather, Miller celebrates having grown up "the son of a gambling man” and having had the chance to serve a state that gave that gambling man the chance at a better life.

A refreshingly unpretentious statement of personal history and political accomplishment that avoids the pitfall of excessive self-congratulation.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0312591816

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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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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