A powerful capsule history of World War II, chilling and reflective in one breath.



A visually engaging and highly atmospheric overview of World War II, including the runup and the fallout.

This is an impressively smart historical survey of World War II: condensed, but complex without being labyrinthine; smooth in its delivery without being trivial. It comfortably merges a political overview with snapshots and film of military action, gratifying both those who gain most from the written narrative and those who like a visual prod to the proceedings. The war is broken down into absorbable chunks, starting with World War I’s unfinished business, through the Japanese invasion of China—the story moves fluidly between the European and Pacific theaters—the blitzkrieg and the homefront. It covers the military campaigns from North Africa to Guadalcanal, Stalingrad to the Coral Sea. The user experience is easy and intuitive—well-organized, clean screens are active but not numbingly so, and there are toolbars for hopping about. Visual cues indicate when more material can be accessed by a swipe of the screen. There are plenty of brief film clips, chosen with finesse, and with their sepia tone or grainy, gray look, they send readers back 70 years in a flash. They wed the fleetness of a footnote to the most pungent visual imagery: One moment you are in the cockpit of a Stuka dive bomber, the next you are looking down at the dock of the Nuremberg trials. What gives the story so much texture, though, is the inclusion of less-notorious moments in the war, such as the Russian-Finnish conflict, helping to paint the big picture in all its swarming complexity.

A powerful capsule history of World War II, chilling and reflective in one breath.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2011


Page Count: -

Publisher: Internet Design Zone

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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