A touching memoir from an important figure in the civil rights movement.

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MY LIFE, MY LOVE, MY LEGACY

A posthumous memoir by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow, told via a journalist, minister, and longtime friend.

In an afterward, Reynolds, a journalist and friend to Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) and a former USA Today editorial board member, offers the “making of her memoir,” which required many recorded interviews since her first article about King for the Chicago Tribune in 1975, with their formal contract signed in 1997. Overall, the tone is as gracious, elegant, and soft-spoken as the legendary Southern lady and concert singer, who was born in the deeply segregated town of Heiberger, Alabama, where her black family was regularly terrorized by whites, including the burning of her house when she was 15 years old. Resilient and fearless due to the example of her harassed father, King was inculcated in the Mount Tabor AME Zion church, where her grandfathers were leaders. Attending the Lincoln missionary school, she found her “escape route” from the South in multicultural Antioch College (Ohio), then followed her passion for classical music to the New England Conservatory, in Boston, where she met the “too short” and unprepossessing minister from Atlanta, MLK Jr. Coretta wanted to be a concert singer and live comfortably in the North, while Martin wanted her to be his wife and have children and move to Montgomery to fight desegregation with nonviolence. Eventually, she came around to embrace his ideals. While her memoir is very much her own journey, it is also about her collaboration with her husband, and she insists they both had a calling by God: “God appeared to have appointed Martin and me…to become the messengers.” The author does not countenance rumors that her husband was unfaithful, insisting that the FBI planted evidence as a smear campaign. In the end, her four children and her “fifth child,” the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, in Atlanta, remain her greatest legacies.

A touching memoir from an important figure in the civil rights movement.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62779-598-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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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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