A solid memoir of political lives from both sides of the spectrum.

READ REVIEW

LOVE & WAR

TWENTY YEARS, THREE PRESIDENTS, TWO DAUGHTERS AND ONE LOUISIANA HOME

A strangely compelling dueling memoir by the improbably matched political couple.

Chicago-native Republican strategist Matalin (Letters to My Daughters, 2004) and New Orleans–born Bill Clinton campaign manager Carville (co-author: It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!, 2012) alternate relentless takes on the events of the last 20 years—both public news stories, such as the 2000 presidential election recount that deeply shook their marriage, and private milestones like moving with their two then-tween-age daughters to New Orleans from Washington, D.C., in 2008. Matalin garners the lion’s share of space, as she discourses on events and personalities in more leisurely, mannered detail, especially the two years she worked as assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney (dispensing the standard talking points for the media meant, “it was up to you to make processed canned food taste garden fresh”). In his pithy style, Carville gets in some good digs of his own. For example, he recounts his simmering resentment at his wife for taking that same VP job in the first place, suppressing an uncivil urge to wish her “good luck on cutting taxes for rich people on her way out the door.” Both are funny in their fashions and respectful of and loving toward the other—rather incredibly, considering their vast ideological divides. In one illuminating tale, Carville tells of the post-9/11 Christmas holiday the family had to spend near the Cheneys in Wyoming, which he made the best of despite the fact that “we were surrounded by Republicans.” In spite of Matalin’s gushing praise of “Poppy” Bush, Lee Atwater, Rush Limbaugh and others, and despite Carville’s merciless jabs at their “boneheaded positions,” the couple’s revelatory account of Carville’s late-life diagnosis of ADHD and their work to rebuild their hometown prove miraculously touching.

A solid memoir of political lives from both sides of the spectrum.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-16724-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more