Too scholarly for most general readers, but still a valuable study that helps flesh out the caricature of conservatives as...

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

HAYEK, FRIEDMAN, AND THE BIRTH OF NEOLIBERAL POLITICS

A cerebral, pertinent exegesis on the thinking behind the rise of the New Right.

Jones offers a comparative examination of how the ideas of the Austrian neoliberals Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper, among others, emerged from their experiences of war, depression, Nazi Germany and communist totalitarianism, and how those ideas translated into strong political currency in the administrations of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The so-called Mont Pelerin Society was formed in 1947 by a group of like-minded intellectuals, united to “combat the forces of collectivism” (fascism, but also the New Deal) as a threat to individual liberty and free markets. Jones sifts carefully through the group’s influential Cold War–era books, including Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944) and Popper’s The Open Society and Its Enemies (1945). Jones also traces the transit of the ideas across the Atlantic, with Hayek installed at the University of Chicago, indoctrinating eager students such as Milton Friedman and George Stigler, who further developed neoliberalism in opposition to social spending, activist government and central planning. As the free-market gospel spread, so did conservative think tanks in America—e.g., the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists, founded in 1953 by William F. Buckley Jr., who went on to start the National Review. By chance, they were able to implement their ideas when the stagnation crisis hit in the 1970s. President Carter appointed Paul Volcker to the Federal Reserve and deregulation was under way. Jones does not adequately examine the neoliberal debacle of Pinochet’s Chile, but he does explore the consequent rise of inequality.

Too scholarly for most general readers, but still a valuable study that helps flesh out the caricature of conservatives as only believing “greed is good.”

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-691-15157-1

Page Count: 424

Publisher: Princeton Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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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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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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