A serious, intriguing look at the blood feud whose horrible consequences continue to reverberate.

BROTHERS IN ARMS

THE KENNEDYS, THE CASTROS, AND THE POLITICS OF MURDER

Two investigative journalists recount the dangerous political duel between the brothers Kennedy and Castro.

“I’ve killed my own brother!” With this anguished cry, say former Frontline reporter Russo (Supermob: How Sidney Korshak and His Criminal Associates Became America’s Hidden Power Brokers, 2006, etc.) and screenwriter Molton (Brave Talk, 1987), Robert Kennedy, who for years headed the administration’s counterinsurgency effort against Fidel Castro, acknowledged his complicity in JFK’s assassination. When the name “Oswald” showed up in a dossier indicating that the unstable ex-Marine was considered for recruitment by anti-Castro forces, RFK understood that the deadly game of spy-counterspy had come full circle. As with his counterpart, Raul Castro (Fidel’s younger brother), who was in charge of Cuba’s intelligence service, RFK’s selfless devotion knew no bounds. Both viewed the contest between their countries in highly personal terms: “what offended the dignity of the brother offended the dignity of his entire nation.” Relying on past histories and innumerable interviews, the authors vividly reconstruct the Cold War atmosphere of the ’60s. Acknowledging Oswald as the sole triggerman, they convincingly conclude that he was a Cuban asset who acted under his own agency, but was also a patsy for larger clandestine elements. Their tracing of Oswald’s creepy progress to Dallas’s Dealey Plaza, their detailed portrait of the shadowy Rolando Cubela Secades (was he a double agent?) and their intimate knowledge of the shadowy intelligence world all contribute to a deeper understanding of the sometimes purposeful, sometimes random forces at work. Russo and Molton attribute the coverup of Oswald’s Cuban connection to the Warren Commission’s ignorance about the extent of the Kennedy brothers’ plots to kill Castro, to RFK’s interest in protecting the family legacy and to Lyndon Johnson’s desire to keep an enraged America from retaliating and possibly triggering World War III.

A serious, intriguing look at the blood feud whose horrible consequences continue to reverberate.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59691-532-9

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2008

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...

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?

No Comments Yet
more