Tough-minded socioeconomic forecasts that, while in the alarmist tradition of Ravi Batra, Harry Browne, Adrian Day, etc, afford genuinely thoughtful perspectives on an arguably uncertain future. This time around, Davidson (founder of the National Taxpayers Union) and Rees-Mogg (ex-editor of the London Times) largely eschew the pitches for their investment advisory services that marred their Blood In The Streets (1987), sticking instead to what they call megapolitical analysis. Using this big-picture approach, the authors predict a deflationary depression for the global village by the turn of the century, if not sooner. Among other bleak outcomes, their epoch-spanning audit projects that the US will soon go the way of post-WW II Great Britain, with Japan tumbling after in relatively short order. The cold war was hot in economic terms, they point out, meaning its windup promises to create substantive dislocations in domestic as well as offshore markets. At a minimum, for example, Davidson and Rees-Mogg anticipate an end to de facto subsidies for the dollar. Concurrently, they assert, a secular trend to disorder has been gathering momentum throughout the world. At the local level, they predict, this drift could make New York like ``a Gotham City without Batman.'' In the meantime, the welfare state is at grave risk as overextended industrial powers find themselves unable to replenish depleted financial resources with a real-estate crash in full force. Indeed, the authors insist that elected officials will probably deem it imperative to reduce the ``unsustainable burdens of transfer payments....'' The bottom line is chaotic and lawless during which those who can will flee metropolitan centers for exurban areas where they can live in peace and prosperity. A conjectural scenario that's as closely reasoned as it is deeply disturbing.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 1991

ISBN: 0-671-66980-X

Page Count: 574

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1991

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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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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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