A sizzling indictment of Uganda’s current strongman and of the American policy in Africa that supports his corrupt regime...



A valiant attempt to disentangle the many threads snarled in the continuing African tragedy.

Epstein (The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa, 2007) has reported extensively on Africa for the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, among other publications. Here, the author recalls an African myth in which a wily hare outwits powerful but dimwitted enemies and then likens Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni to the clever hare manipulating bumbling Americans. She charges that the United States, while purporting to support the growth of democracies, has ignored his corruption and human rights violations as long as he has convincingly claimed that Uganda is a democracy and has appeared to be a bulwark against advancing Islamic terrorism. She reports that Museveni’s American-trained army “has been highly effective in crushing nascent democracy movements in Uganda and in other countries,” and she grimly details the dictator’s outsized ambitions and atrocities against innocent people. The numerous unfamiliar African names and a plethora of abbreviations for various military forces—e.g., NRA, LRA, RPF, AFDL, SPLA—will challenge readers who do not pay close attention to the text. Fortunately, Epstein prefaces her work with a concise timeline of events in Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Zaire/Congo, and Somalia that can be consulted by readers struggling to understand her dense account of the violence and corruption that have beleaguered that part of the world. So what should the U.S. do to change the situation? According to the author, it’s crucial that we renew the pledge to support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but a specific plan of action is not included.

A sizzling indictment of Uganda’s current strongman and of the American policy in Africa that supports his corrupt regime with generous foreign aid.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9977229-2-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Columbia Global Reports

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


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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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

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