Roosevelt’s advice may no longer be strictly relevant, but the book is still valuable as a historical document.

IT'S UP TO THE WOMEN

Eleanor Roosevelt’s first book, a tract of practical advice aimed at women, is back in print.

Roosevelt was known for many things: her writing, her activism on behalf of women’s rights and racial equality, and, of course, her long term as first lady of the United States, a role she redefined. “I shall have to work out my own salvation,” she said, realizing that she was too full of intelligence, energy, and vitality to sit by and host parties. Her first book was published soon after her husband took office. Written in the midst of the Depression, this new edition features an introduction by New Yorker writer Jill Lepore. With chapters on “Budgets,” “Family Health,” “Women and the Vote,” “Women and Working Conditions,” and “Women and Peace,” the volume spans both the private and the public spheres. Roosevelt discusses the importance of budgeting one’s time, finding inexpensive sources of recreation, and the viability of holding down a job while married. “The very best thing that comes to a woman with a job,” she writes, “is the fact that she has to use her brains in order to find time for both her job and her home duties. This keeps her brain from stagnating.” Whatever the topic, Roosevelt’s advice is insistently practical—e.g., the average family spends 38 percent of their income on food and 25 percent on rent, which is a fine guideline, but a budget should be adjusted to fit each family’s needs, since “every one’s needs are different.” Throughout, the narrative is wholesome and heartening if occasionally naïve: “I think before many years…we shall see very little difference in the earning capacity of women as compared with men.”

Roosevelt’s advice may no longer be strictly relevant, but the book is still valuable as a historical document.

Pub Date: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-56858-594-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Nation Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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 Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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