A unique approach to the continuing deconstruction of the Trumpian edifice.

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PLAINTIFF IN CHIEF

A PORTRAIT OF DONALD TRUMP IN 3,500 LAWSUITS

Another searing exposé of the current president.

Former federal prosecutor Zirin, a “middle-of-the-road Republican,” pieces together a highly damning portrait of Donald Trump as a serial abuser of the law, lifelong liar, perjurer, business fraudster, tax evader, racist, and serial perpetrator of sexual assault. The book is so incriminating not only because of the author’s credentials, but also because the details are grounded in approximately 3,500 lawsuits filed by Trump, against Trump, or, in some instances, cross-filed by the opposing parties. Because litigation generally includes sworn affidavits attesting to accuracy and testimony given under oath if a trial occurs, the author is able to accurately document, page after page, the unbelievably long list of Trump’s exaggerations and outright falsehoods. In fact, the documentation provided by Zirin is impossible to refute, by Trump or anybody else who might take exception to this book (most of whom will ignore the facts anyway). The author began his painstaking research in 2015, soon after Trump announced he would seek the presidency on the Republican Party ballot. Because Zirin had spent his decadeslong law career in New York, he had already formed an impression of Trump as a businessman who lacked respect for the Constitution and the courts. Among other topics, the author focuses on Trump’s ties to organized crime; his business frauds related to hotels, casinos, and residential rental properties; and his phony Trump University. An entire chapter covers litigation related to Trump’s mistreatment of women, including physical assault. In every chapter, Zirin explains how Trump abuses the court system, which is funded by American taxpayers, by filing lawsuits in bad faith. He also targets Trump’s lawyers for their unethical behaviors. Though the author’s writing is not always easy to follow, as he sometimes lapses into lawyerly jargon, his overall message is achingly clear: “All this aberrant behavior would be problematic in a businessman….But the implications of such conduct in a man who is the president…are nothing less than terrifying.”

A unique approach to the continuing deconstruction of the Trumpian edifice.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20162-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: All Points/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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

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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

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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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