An important, admonitory argument and appeal that will reward determined readers with open minds.

LESS OIL OR MORE CASKETS

THE NATIONAL SECURITY ARGUMENT FOR MOVING AWAY FROM OIL

A forceful argument that we must wean ourselves off of oil and thereby save the environment and myriads of lives and deprive terrorist organizations of their greatest source of income.

Ballard, a former lieutenant colonel in the Marines and mayor of Indianapolis from 2008 to 2016, participated in the first Gulf War and saw firsthand the consequences of our deadly reliance on Middle Eastern oil. As he writes, we are spending billions of dollars annually to protect the oil infrastructure and flow—not counting the war expenses—and a large portion of the money goes to fund organizations and governments that wish us ill. The author devotes much of this brief volume to background information about how and why we have arrived at this state, and numerous pages of appendices add further information. He summarizes, for example, some critical events involving the Middle East, from the 1979 Iran hostage crisis to recent terrorist attacks in Western Europe. He briefly rehearses the history of the Middle East, from World War I to the present, and the geological and economic history of oil and its production, and he surveys the automotive alternatives to internal combustion engines. Regarding the latter, Ballard offers high praise for Elon Musk and his Tesla development. (He does not mention recent odd Musk-ian events.) The author then proposes ideas to accelerate our movement away from the internal combustion engine—e.g., more charging stations for electric cars. One mild oversight is that Ballard does not devote quite enough attention to the source of all the electricity required to realize his dream. Much more about this issue is needed to make his thesis more palatable to drivers of both massive SUVs and Teslas. The author supplements his sometimes-dense text with numerous photographs, graphs, and charts.

An important, admonitory argument and appeal that will reward determined readers with open minds.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-253-03744-2

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Indiana Univ.

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2019

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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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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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