A labor of love of great value to Yankees fans and hard-core baseball junkies, but not too many others.

ED BARROW

THE BULLDOG WHO BUILT THE YANKEES’ FIRST DYNASTY

Everything you need to know—and much, much more—about a baseball magnate you probably didn’t know existed.

Born in 1868, Edward Grant Barrow was one of the sport’s original renaissance men. He began his professional career in 1903 as manager of the Detroit Tigers, but didn’t gain any serious notoriety until he led the Boston Red Sox to a championship in 1918. Excellent on-field tactician though he was, Barrow is best known for his 1920-45 stint as the New York Yankees’s head front-office honcho. During his tenure, he not only put together the minor-league system but helped the Yankees become a dynasty for decades with his brilliant personnel moves, acquiring and/or nurturing Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, among many others. Baseball insiders were appreciative of Barrow’s impact on the game—he was elected into the Hall of Fame only eight years after the conclusion of his career with the Yankees—but the average fan wasn’t necessarily aware of his existence, which is still the case today. Does Barrow’s role in baseball history merit a nearly 500-page exhumation? Levitt (coauthor, Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, 2003) would certainly answer in the affirmative. A baseball geek writing for baseball geeks—and that is meant in the kindest, most respectful way—the author has an astounding facility with detail: The sheer number of names, dates and salaries he tosses around is mind-blowing, and the 18 informational tables in the appendix are worthy of inclusion in an economics textbook. The primary drawback here is that Barrow is ultimately a footnote, albeit one of the most important footnotes, in baseball history.

A labor of love of great value to Yankees fans and hard-core baseball junkies, but not too many others.

Pub Date: April 17, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8032-2974-7

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2008

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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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