Of greatest interest to those who knew Sidney Wise—but also a poignant reminder of a more civil political era.

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This tribute volume collects statements from and interviews with students, colleagues, relatives, and friends of Sidney Wise, an influential professor.

Sidney Wise was Charles A. Dana Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Upon Wise’s retirement in 1989, Rep. William H. Gray, a former student, paid tribute to him in the House, noting that “Dr. Sidney Wise represents the highest ideal of the small college teacher.” An engaging and inspiring professor, Sid was also known for helping to establish the system of political internships, a new idea at the time. Says a colleague, “As far as I’m concerned, [Sid Wise] invented networking.” Included in Wise’s network were many prominent figures in law, politics, business, and other fields. Those interviewed for this volume include Gray, Kenneth M. Duberstein (President Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff), Alfred Zuck (former assistant secretary of labor), and many others. Through his interviews, Siegel (Android Apps in One Hour for Lawyers, 2013, etc.) makes a broad, persuasive case for Wise’s contributions as a professor and mentor. Although Wise was a committed Democrat, students might leave his class never knowing his affiliation, and he helped students get into leadership positions regardless of party lines (and regardless of race or sex). Several contributors note that for Wise, politics was “the art of the possible,” practiced with a view toward compromise and, above all, civility. An undernote throughout this volume is rueful recognition of how unhappy Wise would be to see today’s deadlocked, partisan bickering. Also recalled in these pages are Wise’s love of film and his warm, gregarious nature. There is some repetition in these accounts and little consideration, given the celebratory nature of this book, of the troublesome side of networking and internships. But, as colleague John Vanderzell says, “to know Sidney was to love him,” and Siegel’s interviews make plain why this is so. The book itself is a labor of love and stands as a fine tribute to an unforgettable man.

Of greatest interest to those who knew Sidney Wise—but also a poignant reminder of a more civil political era.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-1507625590

Page Count: 254

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2015


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



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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