Although Shahid benefited professionally from her patriarchal ties, she admirably used them for the greater good.

DEVOTION AND DEFIANCE

MY FIGHT FOR WOMEN AND THE POOR IN PAKISTAN

A poignant story of a happy partnership that encouraged one Pakistani woman to face her oppressors.

Raised in the tolerant, diverse country of Kuwait to a Pakistani family of middle-class professionals, the author moved to Lahore for the first time in 1985 and felt the shackles of religious restrictions. The Kuwaiti war left the family bereft of her beloved uncle, and the author turned inward, becoming a “serious and spiritual young woman” more interested in her literary studies than in getting married. Working at the Imperial College of Business Studies in Lahore, she met a business student from a prominent newspaper family, Ednan Awais Shahid, and they fell in love and married in 1996; he admired her plucky, outspoken side, as did Ednan’s father, who eventually convinced her that taking over the women’s section of his popular newspaper, the Daily Khabrain, would do more to help the plight of women in Pakistan than her teaching could. The author transformed the pages into a forum to expose horrendous stories of oppression and poverty in the largely tribal, illiterate society of Pakistan—e.g., tales of organ selling, gang rape, honor killings, and acid and stove burnings. It soon became clear to the crusading journalist that she lived in two countries—rich and poor, urban and rural—that could have inhabited two different centuries. Through meeting the rich and powerful friends of her father-in-law at the family dinner table, she was encouraged to become one of the members of the “proportional representation” in the Punjab parliament (17 percent of seats reserved for women, as proposed by President General Musharraf in 2002), where, despite being jeered and having her microphone often switched off, she advocated for criminalizing acid attacks and banning private moneylending. Her marriage to an understanding, loving Ednan forms the core of this deeply felt narrative.

Although Shahid benefited professionally from her patriarchal ties, she admirably used them for the greater good.

Pub Date: March 3, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-393-08148-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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?

more