Mitchell is careful not to ruffle too many feathers in his analysis, but many readers will wonder if officials on either...

A PATH TO PEACE

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATIONS AND A WAY FORWARD IN THE MIDDLE EAST

A former U.S. senator and diplomatic negotiator considers the history of Palestinian-Israeli diplomacy over three-plus decades and what prospects for peace still exist.

Is a two-state solution still viable or a one-state undemocratic solution the grudging alternative? Mitchell (The Negotiator, 2015, etc.) is a revered, longtime peace negotiator and “special envoy” (in Northern Ireland and in Israel) and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1999), and his co-author, Sachar, is a high-level State Department official with years of experience with the Middle East. As a diplomat, Mitchell has good manners and does not attack either side, though he is realistic in his historical assessment while still representing the pro-Israel U.S. His analysis of peace negotiations begins with the founding of the state of Israel and the “special relationship” the U.S. engendered by President Harry Truman’s recognition of the founding “just eleven minutes after their 1948 declaration of independence.” The American arming of Israel during the Cold War has been key in its ability to resist attack by its Arab neighbors, who were often supported by the Soviet Union, yet the U.S. also sold arms to Arab states, such as Jordan. The U.S. has vociferously denounced Israel’s “unrealistic vision of greater Israel” and pushed for “land for peace” concessions, while in 2002, George W. Bush “became the first U.S. president to make the establishment of a viable Palestinian state an explicit foreign policy objective.” Mitchell tiptoes through the various (failed) peace negotiations, from Camp David to Madrid to Oslo to Annapolis, and the Israeli political turnover, which has greatly affected the prospects for peace. Moreover, the author is stern regarding the Palestinian National Authority leadership, the corruption under Yasser Arafat, and the strong-armed disarray under current president Mahmoud Abbas.

Mitchell is careful not to ruffle too many feathers in his analysis, but many readers will wonder if officials on either side will follow his proposals.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5391-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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 moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 12

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

more