Red meat for Trump foes and a convincing denunciation of the Republicans’ “win-at-all-costs electoral strategies.”

CRIME IN PROGRESS

INSIDE THE STEELE DOSSIER AND THE FUSION GPS INVESTIGATION OF DONALD TRUMP

Fusion GPS founders Simpson and Fritsch enumerate the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors that put Donald Trump in the White House.

It’s clear early on that Fusion GPS, the Washington research and analysis firm headed by former Wall Street Journal staffers Simpson and Fritsch, set itself in opposition to Trump’s run for the presidency. “Many of his traits disqualified him for the job,” they write, “and his political rhetoric was loathsome, but his ties to the criminal underworld, his reliance on hidden flows of Russian money, and his record of chicanery in business topped the list.” Surprisingly, this opposition research was initially funded by a wealthy Republican who was appalled at the prospect of a Trump White House. The Steele dossier soon followed, delivered by a British intelligence agent whose allegations helped limn Trump’s ties to organized crime (including a cabal of Russians allied with the old-school Mafia) as well as financial misdeeds, various scams (Trump University, anyone?), and, most damning of all, willing collusion with Russia in interfering with the 2016 election. The authors carefully lay out their evidence, including charges that are only now coming to light, such as the involvement of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes in many of the proceedings as well as fundraising junkets to places such as Boston and Las Vegas, well outside his California district, “during which Nunes spent more than $130,000 on high-end hotels, meals, and NBA tickets, at the expense of his campaign committees.” Along the way, Simpson and Fritsch, who do not disguise their scorn for Trump and company, explore such milestones as the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Jr. and various Russian enterprises, which they hold might have been a “chicken feed” operation on the part of Russian intelligence. They also explore some of the flaws in the still-unfolding investigations into Trump, from Robert Mueller’s reticence to James Comey’s apparent incompetence.

Red meat for Trump foes and a convincing denunciation of the Republicans’ “win-at-all-costs electoral strategies.”

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-593-13415-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 3, 2019

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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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