Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

1948

HARRY TRUMAN'S IMPROBABLE VICTORY AND THE YEAR THAT TRANSFORMED AMERICA

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

A careful dissection of Harry S. Truman’s improbable presidential win reveals just how far behind the eight ball “Give ‘em Hell Harry” really was.

Today, the 33rd president of the United States is popularly known as the irrepressible, silver-haired scrapper who dropped the atomic bomb on Japan and proclaimed, “The Buck Stops Here.” But as Pietrusza meticulously illustrates, that wasn’t necessarily the case in 1948. Quite the contrary, back then many viewed Truman as a profoundly flawed individual who was too weak and unqualified for the White House. He had ties to corrupt party bosses, was weaned on Jim Crow racism and couldn’t give a decent speech if his life depended on it. The famously false Chicago Tribune headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” indeed said it all—the little seat-warmer from Missouri who had inherited the White House following FDR’s death was not supposed to win in 1948. While rogue Democrats undercut him, nervous rank-and-file members sought his ouster. Rival Republicans circled for blood, and not one but two World War II heroes—Douglas MacArthur and Dwight D. Eisenhower—loomed in the pack. The author fields each of these competing components deftly, building one on top of the other to weave a coherent, compelling narrative that illuminates the time while also raising implications for today’s political climate (as noted here, 1948 was the first time that television became a factor in politics). Much of the intrigue and brinkmanship involved in those party conventions of old has transformed, but the political considerations and closed-door dealing shaping potential nominees remain salient as ever. What the reader learns here is that the long-term veneer that often sticks to political figures always clouds the reality. And understanding what actually transpired is not only more important, but also far more intriguing. A skillful, authoritative investigation into one of the most famous presidential elections in U.S. history.

 

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-1402767487

Page Count: 520

Publisher: Union Square & Co.

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2011

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

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

Close Quickview