A unique journey back to America’s Southern colonial roots that will appeal to history buffs.

BRASSANKLE

An engaging, informative exploration of the lesser-known battles of the American Revolution, presented through the interactions among fictional and historical characters.

The American Revolutionary War comes to life in Weaver’s (Nav Cad, 2012, etc.) vivid historical novel. Set in South Carolina, the volume is so chock-full of details of life in Charles Town and its surrounding countryside that readers can almost feel themselves walking down the streets or through the swamps. Weaver’s narrative focuses on the scores of usually overlooked Southern skirmishes that kept the British busy and frustrated, making it impossible for them to execute a successful sweeping march to round up the South and then push forward to finish off the North. The fictional hero of the story is Truly Doran, aka Gray Cloud, son of a Catawba maiden, Singing Water, and her white husband, Sean Doran. As a result of his parentage, Truly is considered a “brassankle,” a term derived from the brass ankle shackles that Southerners sometimes used to keep mixed heritage workers from running away. Gray Cloud grows up in his mother’s Catawba village, learning hunting, tracking and survival skills from his uncle, while his father serves as a guide for a government survey project. When Gray Cloud reaches his teenage years, Sean brings him to a prestigious English school in Charles Town, where he goes by his English name, Truly Doran. During these years, he is befriended by Capt. Francis Marion of the 2nd Continental Regiment on Sullivan’s Island and eventually becomes Marion’s scout. Weaver intersperses moments of levity and romance with intricate battle details, giving readers a front-row seat to the personal development of Truly and the emergence of the new America. The linguistic style is just formal enough to simulate 18th-century Southern society, although the use of heavy dialect for three characters (one Irishman and two black slaves) is unnecessarily disruptive, especially since the work does not similarly encumber any other characters (including the two Catawba orphans Truly takes under his wing).

A unique journey back to America’s Southern colonial roots that will appeal to history buffs.

Pub Date: May 17, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481750257

Page Count: 388

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2014

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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 PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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