Passionate history with a clear point of view.



A wide-ranging synthesis of the history of African influence on the Americas.

In this kaleidoscopic narrative, Proenza-Coles (co-editor: Political Power and Social Theory, Volume 19, 2008), who has a dual doctorate in sociology and history, tackles the long history of people of African descent in the Western Hemisphere. “In an effort to convey how events and individuals connect to larger historical forces—colonialism, revolution, republicanism, and nation building—the chapters proceed chronologically and endeavor to provide a pan-American vantage point.” In that, she succeeds, and her argument is clear and cogent: Far from being mere victims or objects of historical change, Americans of African origin have been central to the country’s history and served as active agents in pushing for their freedom and the freedom of others. She is especially solid in her discussion of the era of slavery and its impact on not only the region, but the larger world, and she uses separate sections to provide the capsule biographies of a wide sample of important individuals who shaped American life. Drawn from a sizable range of secondary sources, the book is something of a mixture—not quite scholarly tome, not quite popular history, not quite reference work—but Proenza-Coles writes clearly, her mining of her sources is impressive, and her argument is lucid. She is much stronger on the centuries prior to the Civil War than on the 20th century and beyond. While the timelines that cap each chapter are helpful in keeping track of the many events and milestones she discusses, the endnotes at the ends of the chapters would work better as either footnotes or endnotes at the back of the book. Nonetheless, this is a useful history to supplement existing works on the African experience in the Americas. Acclaimed Civil War historian Edward L. Ayers provides the foreword.

Passionate history with a clear point of view.

Pub Date: March 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58838-331-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: NewSouth

Review Posted Online: Jan. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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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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Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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