A broken-bat blooper that falls for a double.



A former commissioner of baseball rehearses his years and achievements in the game.

After a foreword by Doris Kearns Goodwin, Selig begins with a difficult year for him and baseball—2007, a year dominated by Barry Bonds’ chase for the all-time home run record and steroid scandals—before settling in to a fairly conventional chronological (and sometimes clichéd) summary of his experiences as a fan, owner (Milwaukee Brewers), and commissioner, the job that earned him a Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2017. Although the author focuses almost entirely on his baseball life, he briefly discusses his marriage, his daughter’s management of the Brewers, and his friendships, especially with Hank Aaron, whose record Bonds broke, and George W. Bush. Selig provides a fairly extensive account of 9/11, how baseball contributed to public healing, and how then-President Bush was, in the author’s view, a hero. He also includes a tribute to the late Sen. John McCain, whom he greatly admired (he offers no comment about Donald Trump, who has publicly denigrated McCain). Baseball fans will appreciate Selig’s coverage of the key issues that arose during his tenure, including the introduction of the “wild card” teams, the Pete Rose gambling case (Selig believes Rose’s banishment from baseball remains just), the rise of the players’ union, the destructive battle about steroids and other drugs, the notion of revenue-sharing among the teams (a concept borrowed from the NFL and its former commissioner Pete Rozelle, whom Selig praises extensively), the financial resurgence of baseball, and the spread of the game around the world. Selig does not express a lot of modesty or offer much in the way of confessions of failure, human or professional; in all, he maintained “clear eyes, an open mind, and a willingness to make personal sacrifices for the good of the game.”

A broken-bat blooper that falls for a double.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-290595-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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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 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 19, 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...


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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