A detailed chronicle of the last days of Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, and what went before, based upon an exhaustive 25-year study. Celebrated pilot Elgen Long and his coauthor wife, a public relations consultant with the Western Aerospace Museum, claim that the solution of the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Electra, Earhart’s plane, has never been found until now. The fatal flight began on July 2, 1937, during an era of “firsts” in the fast-developing technology of pioneer aviation. As speed and endurance records toppled around them, Earhart and Noonan took off on an around-the-world flight across the equator. Wiley Post had soloed around the world in a record seven days in 1933. Earhart’s flight in a late model plane had been bankrolled and otherwise supported by her influential husband, G.P. Putnam of Putnam Publishers, many friends, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Navy, the Army Air Corps, and aviation experts. Every possible precaution seemed to have been taken for a successful flight. But as a newly discovered report reveals, while Earhart and Noonan were flying the leg from Lae, New Guinea, to remote Howland Island in the Pacific, a faulty direction finder, poor radio communications, and an inaccurate map of Howland led the Electra off course while the plane ran out of fuel. Earhart and expert navigator Noonan did not know the Morse code used by the military. Earhart’s last voice transmission noted that she was running out of fuel. Debunking rumors that Earhart and Noonan were captured by the Japanese, the Longs conclude that the plane, without any survival equipment aboard, must have ditched in the vast Pacific, miles from Howland. The empty fuel tanks would have filled up rapidly with sea water, causing the Electra to sink. The Longs’ extensive research, coupled with their mastery of technical detail, should make this the definitive study of its subject.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-684-86005-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1999


If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998


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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