Any World War II buff will love this tale of heroism.

SCHOLARS OF MAYHEM

MY FATHER'S SECRET WAR IN NAZI-OCCUPIED FRANCE

A remarkable World War II story of an American within the French Resistance.

Guiet teams up with former Fortune senior features editor Smith to tell the story of Guiet’s father, Jean Claude Guiet (1924-2013). At the outbreak of war, Jean Claude and his brother, Pierre, got stuck in France for a year, giving them valuable experience in French life. Fluent in idiomatic French, they were prime targets for recruitment by the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA. OSS head Bill Donovan drew up the plan for American spy services with Britain’s Special Operations Executive. Both brothers were sent to England, Pierre to a desk job and Jean Claude to rigorous training in codes, wireless operations, parachuting, and unconventional warfare. Then he was assigned to an operations group named “Salesman II,” along with three others: Violette the messenger, Philippe the leader, and Bob the explosives expert (last names were never used). The authors make it absolutely clear that they were not spies but rather secret agents, trained for mayhem. Their job was to organize and galvanize the “maquisards,” the guerrilla army, to create havoc, and to prevent Nazi troops and materiel from reaching the D-Day landing sites. Though poor weather delayed their arrival in Limoges until the day after D-Day, they wasted no time finding the maquisards. The problem was to convince them all to work together. Communists, socialists, and anarchists all disagreed and often trusted no one. Philippe managed to pull everyone together, which left the matter of getting Allied equipment where it was needed. Those drops were epic in their volume, one involving 72 plane loads; another featured tricolor parachutes, which incurred Nazi wrath. In this page-turning, exciting book, the authors demonstrate an eye for significant details and a strong feel for the players.

Any World War II buff will love this tale of heroism.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7352-2520-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more