PRINCES WITHOUT A HOME

MODERN ZIONISM AND THE STRANGE FATE OF THEODOR HERZL'S CHILDREN, 1900-1945

The sad fate of three children whose youth was sacrificed to the cause of Zionism. Theodor Herzl, the charismatic leader of the Zionist movement, died in 1904 when he was in his early 40s. Because of his brutal work schedule, Herzl was unable to devote much time to his children, Pauline, Hans, and Trude, while he was alive. But his death left a hole in their lives that was bigger than the half-hour a day they saw him whenever he was in Vienna. Herzl had sunk much of the family's money into his Zionist activities, and at his death, his wife and children were thrown upon the mercy of the World Zionist Organization. The organization's leaders, also Herzl's good friends, took their charge seriously, sending out a plea to the Jewish community on behalf of the Herzl family. ``The Children's Fund'' was thus established, but not at small cost to the young Herzls, who were mortified by the public ``begging.'' Julie Herzl, Theodor's wife, was another source of embarrassment. She was an extravagant and unstable woman, and she threatened the Zionist leaders with scandals and lawsuits if they didn't meet her unreasonable financial demands. She died a few years after her husband, breaking up her children's home still further. Pauline was soon married off, left her husband, lived with various lovers, and abused drugs between bouts in an asylum; she died in 1930. Hans was a loner, subject to the same violent mood swings as his father, and unable to bear the burden of being heir to the ``King of the Jews'': He committed suicide immediately following Pauline's death. Trude was unhappily married to a much older man and also spent much of her time in asylums. She died in 1943 in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. A well-told story of a public family's tragic private life. Sternberger's unobtrusive narrative allows the characters to speak for themselves in extensively quoted letters, diaries, and published writings. (photos, not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1995

ISBN: 1-883255-39-2

Page Count: 350

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1995

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE

Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism.

In her feisty debut book, Oluo, essayist, blogger, and editor at large at the Establishment magazine, writes from the perspective of a black, queer, middle-class, college-educated woman living in a “white supremacist country.” The daughter of a white single mother, brought up in largely white Seattle, she sees race as “one of the most defining forces” in her life. Throughout the book, Oluo responds to questions that she has often been asked, and others that she wishes were asked, about racism “in our workplace, our government, our homes, and ourselves.” “Is it really about race?” she is asked by whites who insist that class is a greater source of oppression. “Is police brutality really about race?” “What is cultural appropriation?” and “What is the model minority myth?” Her sharp, no-nonsense answers include talking points for both blacks and whites. She explains, for example, “when somebody asks you to ‘check your privilege’ they are asking you to pause and consider how the advantages you’ve had in life are contributing to your opinions and actions, and how the lack of disadvantages in certain areas is keeping you from fully understanding the struggles others are facing.” She unpacks the complicated term “intersectionality”: the idea that social justice must consider “a myriad of identities—our gender, class, race, sexuality, and so much more—that inform our experiences in life.” She asks whites to realize that when people of color talk about systemic racism, “they are opening up all of that pain and fear and anger to you” and are asking that they be heard. After devoting most of the book to talking, Oluo finishes with a chapter on action and its urgency. Action includes pressing for reform in schools, unions, and local governments; boycotting businesses that exploit people of color; contributing money to social justice organizations; and, most of all, voting for candidates who make “diversity, inclusion and racial justice a priority.”

A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-58005-677-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Seal Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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