Disregard the deceptive title. The prolific Hoyt (199 Days, The Last Kamikaze, etc.) offers an illuminating picture of the wide-ranging, if ultimately ineffectual, roles played by Hermann Wilhelm Goering in Nazi Germany's rise and fall. A WW I fighter pilot whose valor in aerial combat earned him a chestful of medals, the well-connected Goering was an early supporter of Adolf Hitler, providing access to the moneyed circles into which upstart National Socialists could not hope to be admitted on their own. In return, Hitler gave him high-profile posts. In addition to getting the Luftwaffe off the ground, Goering once headed the SA's storm troopers and (until supplanted by Albert Speer in 1942) was the Third Reich's economic tsar as well as its soothing front man during the years prior to WW II. As Hoyt makes clear, however, Goering was a can-do master of organization and tactics, not a visionary strategist. Absent a personal following within the Nazi Party, moreover, the corpulent Reichsmarschal relied almost entirely on the FÅhrer's favor for whatever power he wielded. While Goering's star climbed with Germany's European conquests, it dimmed in the wake of subsequent setbacks on the Eastern front, his air force's failure to win the Battle of Britain, and the Allies' relentless raids on a fatherland stripped of substantive defense against bombers. Reduced to a figurehead as Hitler assumed personal control of the country's battered, sputtering industrial war machine, Goering effectively marked time until he cheated the victors' justice by taking his own life in 1947. A revelatory appraisal of an Axis kingpin whose sociopolitical career has been accorded far less attention than that of the madman he served so loyally. (Photos)

Pub Date: April 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-312-85668-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Forge

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1994



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



Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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