Sullenberger has provided a real service in presenting these courageous American leaders and their stories.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

STORIES OF VISION AND COURAGE FROM AMERICA'S LEADERS

With the assistance of Century (co-author, with Ice-T: Ice, 2011, etc.), Sullenberger (Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters, 2009) presents “a contemporary version” of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.

Following his heroic landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River, the author met with first officer Jeff Skiles to discuss how to move forward as private individuals faced with unsought public notoriety. They resolved to use their “new platform for the greater good” by serving as advocates and champions for aviation safety and the profession of airline pilots. But first they had to prepare themselves to deal with the new challenge. This book is an outgrowth of that process, as they rose to master new responsibilities and obligations. Sullenberger calls it “a kind of personal quest,” which brought him into contact with the 11 people whose stories form the core of his book. Among others, they include three-time World Series–winning baseball manager Tony La Russa; Admiral Thad Allen, who brought innovative methods and a “fresh eye” to dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Gene Kranz, the NASA Flight Director who stood up for the astronauts' safety against NASA's bureaucracy, and who brought Apollo 13 and its crew safely home; and Michelle Rhee, who was brought in to overhaul the Washington, D.C., school system and produced remarkable results over three years. Sullenberger is also concerned with how people build loyalty and empower others, as well as how they respond to crises. He highlights the role of Jim Sinegal at Costco, who has defended his employees and customers against stockholders.

Sullenberger has provided a real service in presenting these courageous American leaders and their stories.

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-192470-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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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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