ATHENS

A PORTRAIT OF THE CITY IN ITS GOLDEN AGE

In a broader and more thorough, though less lively, treatment of classical Athens than James Davidson’s Courtesans and Fishcakes (see p. 943), Meier (Ancient History/Univ. of Munich) methodically examines the brief flash of brilliance that was Athens, from its victory over the Persians at Marathon in 490 b.c. through the death of Socrates four generations later. Athens during its Golden Age gave birth to Western traditions of democracy, philosophy, natural science, and literary and fine arts. During much of this period, it was an important Mediterranean political power as well. Meier presents a complete picture of the rise and fall of this extraordinary phenomenon. Blessed with a vigorous political culture and brilliant leaders like Militiades, the victor of Marathon, and Pericles, who led the city-state through its most powerful period, Athens developed a naval power unmatched by any in Greece, including Sparta, the dominant military power and Athens’ rival. Athenian naval might was instrumental in the defeat of the Persian fleet off Salamis in 480 b.c., and after the defeat of the Persians Greece divided into Athenian and Spartan spheres of influence. Athenian democracy made possible the astonishing cultural achievements of the period that followed Salamis; Athenian imperialism and overreaching in the Aegean led to a vicious, protracted war between Athens and Sparta that ultimately involved the entire Greek mainland and exhausted the Athenian state. Athenian democracy declined with its military fortunes: the war ended in disaster and the democracy was temporarily overthrown in 411 b.c., then restored, then it devolved into a sort of anarchy. Though minutely chronicling the mercurial political and military career of Periclean Athens, Meier doesn—t neglect intellectual and social history: he describes the festivals, buildings, sacred sites, and politics of Athens in a way that brings the ancient city alive. Meticulously researched and engrossing, this is likely to become a standard popular history of Athens during its century of greatness. (56 b&w illustrations)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8050-4840-5

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

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

Close Quickview