Having made a name for himself as a military sage, Luttwak (Strategy, 1987, etc.) now turns his attention to geoeconomics—the battleground on which, he asserts, a self-defeating US must best commercial rivals if it's to thrive in the wake of the USSR's collapse. In his wide-ranging, alarmist overview, the author argues that America is on the decline toward Third World status—citing a downward slide in domestic wage scales; measurable drops in living standards; ongoing job losses in major industries (owing to the transfer of advanced technologies); urban decay; spiraling debt burdens; inadequate savings rates; and a persistent failure to invest in capital goods, infrastructure, research, or people. In the meantime, Luttwak warns, an unfortunate trend to unfettered individualism (driven to a great extent by misguided concessions to cultural diversity in schools, the workplace, and other venues) has undermined the nation's unity and, hence, its capacity to compete in global markets. Following his worst-case diagnosis of what ails the body politic, the author prescribes some strong medicine: e.g., he commends vocational as well as academic education (with uniform countrywide standards), value-added taxation (to curb excessive consumption), and a formal industrial policy that enables the US government to support American business (rather than the ad hoc practices that currently preclude effective action). Now that the cold war's end has all but eliminated the nation's need to propitiate erstwhile allies, the US can no longer afford to pay even lip service to free-enterprise principles more honored in the breach than the observance, Luttwak maintains. Indeed, he concludes, America's political leaders must mobilize all available resources for the trade conflicts that will determine economic dominion in the 21st century and beyond. A shrill wake-up call to arms.

Pub Date: Oct. 14, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-86963-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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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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