A sterling educational text and a memorable commemoration of female trailblazers, past and present.

THE BOOK OF GUTSY WOMEN

FAVORITE STORIES OF COURAGE AND RESILIENCE

An homage to prominent women of the world who made a difference.

Hillary Clinton (What Happened, 2017) collaborates with her daughter, Chelsea (Don’t Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe, 2019), in this celebration of more than 100 pioneering women who inspired them most. Written as a conversation between the distinguished mother-and-daughter team, the book profiles women whom the Clintons have found to be greatly inspirational not only to them, but to the world, based on their contributions to global society and female empowerment. The book is attractively designed and arranged based on the women’s areas of knowledge and expertise. The opening section features women the authors have been personally inspired by. In addition to profiles of intergenerational extended family members, the authors also appreciate the legacies of Helen Keller, Anne Frank, and outspoken 1964 presidential candidate Margaret Chase Smith. The Clintons’ informative back and forth also affords readers a closer glimpse into the specific, myriad ways both of their lives were influenced by these innovators. Elsewhere, they dive into achievements in a wide variety of fields, including education, literature, environmentalism, sports, diplomacy, and activism, eloquently illuminating their subjects’ years of valiant heroism in the face of massive obstacles. The narrative range is vast and features distinctly inspiring women such as Shirley Chisholm, “the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination”; Ellen DeGeneres, who leveled homophobic speculation by coming out publicly in 1997; Rosa May Billinghurst, a leading British suffragist in early-20th-century England; and Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained at Last, an organization that fights against child marriage. Overall, the collection—which also features Harriet Tubman, Rachel Carson, Clara Barton, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Temple Grandin, and Malala Yousafzai, among many other major figures—will bond optimistic readers together in remembrance of the major contributions of a sisterhood that is smartly and accessibly presented by the Clintons.

A sterling educational text and a memorable commemoration of female trailblazers, past and present.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7841-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 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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