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THE ETERNAL CITY

A HISTORY OF ROME

Those enthralled by Rome will find this a worthy companion, if one that might prompt nostalgia for golden ages of yore.

Sweeping history over three millennia of the center of the ancient world.

Rome is famously known as the city of seven hills. But, writes London-based historian Addis in opening, “why stop at seven?” There are more: the Janiculum, the Pincian, Monte Mario, the Vatican, and so forth, yet the count has held at seven since time immemorial. So it is that the entire history of Rome, republic and empire and beyond, has been punctuated by set pieces and legends, some of which the author debunks, others of which he illuminates. For instance, in telling the story of the foundation of the ancient republic after the overthrow of the Etruscan kings, he nicely notes that Lucius Junius Brutus emerged victorious, having hidden behind a last name that means “stupid.” “Up stepped Brutus, casting off the pretense of foolishness he had worn for so long,” Addis spryly writes after setting up a bloody scene, after which Brutus swore that Rome would not see a king again. So it was for a few hundred years until the rise of the emperors, who started off strong but devolved into gangsters and tyrants, “too busy with enemies from outside Rome’s borders to worry about enemies within.” Consequently, Christianity, its early adherents true enemies of the Roman state, was able to take hold. Addis writes with due admiration of Cola di Rienzo, the exponent of “a well-established tradition of Italian communal government” after the revival of the Senate in 1143, who recapitulated the ancient struggle between commoner and nobility and wound up the worse in the bargain. The author takes readers to the walls of the city in the 19th century, where "patrician ladies,” students, and militia alike joined to battle French invaders. The narrative sometimes runs a bit long, but Addis writes clearly and effectively, though without the flair of a Mary Beard or Luigi Barzini.

Those enthralled by Rome will find this a worthy companion, if one that might prompt nostalgia for golden ages of yore.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68177-542-5

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


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  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

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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