THE CAPTAIN

THE JOURNEY OF DEREK JETER

An account of the charmed life of New York Yankee icon Derek Jeter that’s as short on salacious revelations as it is long on adulation.

If Jeter’s life hasn’t been perfect, it’s come pretty close. Notwithstanding some troubling childhood encounters with racism, the handsome, charismatic, biracial Jeter managed to combine the hardworking mindset of his grandfather with the loving positivity of his parents to turn himself into the best baseball prospect—not to mention the biggest Yankees fan—ever to emerge from Kalamazoo, Mich. After being drafted by those same Yankees, the highly touted prospect shot through the minor league ranks and went on to win rookie of the year in Major Leagues, an honor that would presage bigger things to come. ESPNNewYork.com writer O’Connor (Arnie and Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf’s Greatest Rivalry, 2009) ably chronicles that rise and those bigger things, including five World Series titles to date, as well as the astonishing list of A-list starlets Jeter dated along the way (while miraculously minimizing his tabloid presence), and his strange relationship with superstar rival/teammate Alex Rodriguez. Though Jeter’s cooperation was limited to a few locker-room interviews, it quickly becomes apparent how much the author reveres his subject, a man whose on-field talent is apparently matched by his off-field integrity, impish sense of humor and ability to charm children. The only real dirt O’Connor can dig up is Jeter’s inability to forgive those who slight him, no matter how innocuously, and even that revelation reads like a well-qualified job candidate’s rehearsed response to the standard interview question about one’s greatest weakness. Still, there’s something refreshing about an icon who actually lives up to his billing as a nice guy, hard worker and great teammate, even if it seems odd to tell his story while it’s still unfolding. Not unlike the Captain’s public persona—polished and well put together, but a bit bland.

 

Pub Date: May 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-32793-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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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