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

THE WISE LEGACY

HOW ONE PROFESSOR TRANSFORMED THE NATION

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

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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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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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