A deeply affecting narrative told in a voice of poignant simplicity, punctuated by injunctions to love that are far from...

I SHALL NOT HATE

A GAZA DOCTOR'S JOURNEY ON THE ROAD TO PEACE AND HUMAN DIGNITY

Inspiring memoir of the struggle of a Palestinian doctor to preserve his family, humanity and hope in the face of injustice and destruction in the Gaza Strip.

The eldest boy of nine siblings raised in a tiny room in the Jabalia refugee camp, Abuelaish (Public Health/Univ. of Toronto) was determined to lift his family out of the penury to which it had been reduced by its flight in 1948 from its nearby ancestral farm, later swallowed by Ariel Sharon’s ranch. With earnings from working on an Israeli farm when he was 15, the author built his family a house to replace the one bulldozed at Sharon’s order. Despite increasing restrictions on Gazans’ mobility and opportunity, the ragged ghetto boy realized his ambition of becoming the first Palestinian doctor to practice in both Gaza and Israel. Dr. Abuelaish built a five-story building in Jabalia City to house his extended family, who hunkered down there when Israel invaded Gaza in January 2009. Well-known in Israel for his advocacy of medical collaboration as a way to humanize Palestinians’ and Israelis’ perceptions of each other, Abuelaish felt confident that the Israeli tank sitting outside his window would not target his home. His shrieks of anguish when two shells exploded in the next room, killing three of his daughters and his niece, went out live on the Israeli TV news show for which he was a stringer. The worldwide outcry over the carnage inflicted on the household of a champion of nonviolence prompted Israel to declare a cease-fire. Instead of cursing Israelis collectively, Abuelaish passionately reaffirms his conviction that the resentment on both sides will never weaken until the Gaza-Israel barrier is made permeable to regular human interactions between ordinary Palestinians and Israelis.

A deeply affecting narrative told in a voice of poignant simplicity, punctuated by injunctions to love that are far from corny, tried as they are by the searing experiences of a righteous man striving to act decently in a place of madness.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8027-7917-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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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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