How the British royal family was raised, from the Queen to her grandchildren, told by a seasoned Windsor watcher (Royal Style, 1988, etc.) and illustrated with previously unpublished photographs from the royal archives. George V, the Queen's grandfather, once said, ``My father was frightened of his father, I was frightened of my father, and I'm damned well going to see that my children are frightened of me.'' Here, Seward, editor of England's Majesty magazine, follows the evolution in royal thinking and practice from George's era (his eldest son, Edward, hated his father, abdicated, and married American divorcÇe Wallace Simpson), through that of the Queen, who was less distant and even sent her children out to ``public'' schools, down to the trendy ideas of Princess Diana. The author repeats much that is known already, but she also draws on her contacts in royal circles and particularly on her interviews with the royal ``nannies.'' These redoubtable women, often from a plebeian background, were the nurses who provided much of the emotional support that their charges could not get from their frequently absent parents, and who even in later years would remain as intimate friends and confidantes. Seward introduces us to a paradoxical world of privilege in which as a boy Prince Edward would wear his older brother's hand-me-downs and where sweets were only for special occasions. Much of the detail here is trivial for all but the most sentimental, yet the reader is occasionally challenged to reflect on the tensions for young people who must after all carry the symbolism of a nation and bear a burden of public duty and media attention that few of us would be willing to face. Anecdotal and at times poignant: of interest mainly to those for whom the intimacies of the British royal family fill an emotional need. (Sixteen pages of color and b&w photos—not seen) (First serial to National Enquirer)

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 1994

ISBN: 0-312-10533-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1993

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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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A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

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A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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