A noble personification of the civil rights movement and an inspirational manual on instilling empowerment and possibility...

HOLDING FAST TO DREAMS

EMPOWERING YOUTH FROM THE CIVIL RIGHTS CRUSADE TO STEM ACHIEVEMENT

A potent hybrid of prideful memoir and galvanizing guidebook derived from lectures on race and education.

Esteemed youth leader and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Hrabowski (Overcoming the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Young Women, 2002, etc.) was barely a teenager when he was arrested for participation in the anti-discrimination Children’s Crusade march in central Alabama in 1963. His highly personal account retraces this event and its impact on his life and livelihood, which began in oppressive Birmingham, where he was raised by hardworking teacher parents who fostered his early affinity for mathematics. With his parents’ ambivalent blessings, Hrabowski, just 12, joined the historic civil rights march against antagonistic segregation and was swiftly corralled in a mass arrest and jailed with hardened criminals for five days. The words of Martin Luther King Jr. would soon motivate him into forging a career in education, the promotion of critical thinking curriculums such as goal-based academic disciplines, and youth advocacy. In other sections of the book, the author praises the evolution of his university’s innovative culture and the impressive role it has played in promoting undergraduate education and research work amid an all-inclusive, unsegregated atmosphere conducive to learning. His discussion dovetails nicely with the book’s concluding chapters, which address the historical advancement of American educational and economic opportunities, particularly for African-Americans. Spawned from the speeches Hrabowski delivered during the Simmons College-Beacon Press Race, Education, and Democracy Lecture series in 2013, the book’s strength derives from the advancements achieved by African-American students, in which the author has played a significant role. Still, he acknowledges that there is much more work to be done with regard to overall unemployment rates, income levels, and civic equality.

A noble personification of the civil rights movement and an inspirational manual on instilling empowerment and possibility in today’s youth.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0344-2

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

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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