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: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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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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