Giant, solo, 17-year investigation into a man allegedly hired to kill Lee Harvey Oswald and prevent the assassination of JFK. This ten-pound plate of assassination spaghetti and supposition has much to recommend it, including immense research and documentation, and may bear on any final understanding about the apparent plot to kill Kennedy. Russell shows how several schemes gathered steam and then fell through before the final plot succeeded. The thrust of Russell's book is that a double agent for the CIA and the KGB, Richard Case Nagell—who is still alive and has contributed quite a bit to the present work—not only knew Oswald before the killing and was privy to information about several plots to kill the President, but was also part of several espionage dramas played out during the summer of 1963. While under the belief that he was working for the CIA in gathering information about five different groups that were creating the climate for the assassination, Nagell discovered that his real sponsor was the KGB- -and that he was being set up to kill Oswald in Mexico City and derail the JFK assassination. Nagell allegedly has a tape recording (made secretly by himself) of Oswald and fellow conspirators making plans, while Russell says that he has eye-witness proof that the murder rifle was found on the fourth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, then moved to the sixth; and he claims that oil billionaire H.L. Hunt bought the Zapruder film before Time-Life got its duplicate—which Time-Life thought was the original. Deep wading, with a 15-page ``Cast of Characters'' to keep straight.

Pub Date: Dec. 29, 1992

ISBN: 0-88184-900-6

Page Count: 816

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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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

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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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