DEVIL DOGS

FIGHTING MARINES OF WORLD WAR I

An interesting but unexceptional look at the Marine Corps actions of WWI, authored by a military historian who is also the owner of a antiquarian bookstore specializing in military history. At the onset of American involvement in the war, the Marines were an orphan force (though officially under the aegis of the navy) and unwelcome by the army, which saw no need for a second ground force. Clark covers the background maneuvering that finally allowed the Marines to be shifted over to a furious General Pershing and thus to live up to their motto of “First to Fight.” Once they were overseas and in the field, the battles waged by the Marines remain among the best remembered of the American stage of the war: Verdun, Belleau Wood, Soissons, Marbache Sector, the Meuse, and several others. Clark’s at his best when describing skirmishes on the ground and quoting generously from archival telegrams, reports, and letters to create a telling picture of the field of battle. Also useful is his discussion of hurdles to be overcome in nearly any operation (but usually, and regretrtably, unlikely to find their way into the accounts of historians). Though pages here frequently become jumbled with unit numbers and acronyms, the overall narrative is readable, adding to the available information on America in WWI. (44 b&w photos, 21 maps, not seen)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-89141-653-6

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Presidio/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more