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Inspiring words to empower Warren's marching army.

Girded for battle, the senior senator from Massachusetts forcefully lays out the bleak picture of an American government increasingly controlled by corporate greed and special interests.

Warren (A Fighting Chance, 2014, etc.), a former Harvard Law School professor and a prolific author, has been America’s Cassandra even before becoming a Democratic senator in 2012. She is appalled by the inability of regular working people like her own family from Oklahoma to make a living in a once-thriving American economy. She proudly cites how, in the 1960s, her mother got a minimum-wage job after her husband’s heart attack and was able to keep the family going and even pay the mortgage. Yet now, a war of attrition is being waged on most Americans, a kind of “economic boa constrictor that is squeezing working families so hard they can’t breathe.” The causes are broad and include stagnant wages that have not kept up with inflation, unstable employment as companies move overseas, lack of benefits such as basic health and day care, high fixed expenses (transportation, housing, college), and rising debt. Using several examples of personal stories, such as a low-wage worker and an African-American family struggling from layoffs and mortgage discrimination, Warren addresses these issues one by one. In Washington, D.C., she has taken up the cudgel for basic fairness regarding the minimum wage and alleviating the national scandal of student-loan debt, all the while struggling mightily against the Republican majority. Indeed, Warren’s education in maneuvering through the powers that be is eye-opening, and she shares her experiences with grim frankness. As she notes, the persistent mirage of trickle-down economics, begun by Ronald Reagan, has taken on fresh life thanks to Donald Trump, resulting in renewed calls for deregulation (especially on banks), withdrawing research and infrastructure spending, cutting taxes for the rich, busting unions, and permitting unlimited lobbying and influence. The author sounds the alarm that an oligarchy is in the making, and her urgency is palpable and necessary.

Inspiring words to empower Warren's marching army.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-12061-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 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...

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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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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