A savvy, slick, and comprehensive overview of the Gulf War, from the authors of A Quick and Dirty Guide to War (1984). Dunnigan (coauthor, Shooting Blanks, p. 768, etc.) and Bay offer a wealth of fresh perspectives on the confrontation, commencing with an evenhanded evaluation of its ancient roots. Moving on to the casus belli, they review the industrial West's unwontedly cooperative response to Saddam Hussein's annexation of his tiny, oil-rich neighbor by force of arms. The stage thus set, the authors provide a perceptive audit of the logistics that put Saddam's occupation troops between Iraq and a hard place. They go on to deliver detailed briefings on the dramatic air and ground campaigns as well as background on how the two were integrated. Covered as well are largely overlooked naval operations that, among other fruitful outcomes, kept 17,000 Iraqi soldiers tied down awaiting an amphibious invasion that never came. Along their frequently sardonic way, Dunnigan and Bay furnish large amounts of statistical data on orders of battle, plus illuminating rundowns on how the equipment, weapons, and tactics employed by both sides helped determine victory or defeat. Once the Soviet-tutored Iraqis lost their centralized communications system to aerial attacks, the authors point out, they proved comparatively easy pickings for coalition forces that had greater firepower as well as superior sensors—and access to intelligence from American satellites. Dunnigan and Bay also make responsible estimates of unreported desertion and casualty rates—e.g., pegging Iraqi KIAs at no more than 35,000. Nor do they neglect the home front, recalling with evident relish lawmakers' less than prescient predictions in the debate preceding hostilities, and the often inane commentary of TV's talking heads. A down-to-earth wrap-up: fine fare for general readers as well as armchair strategists. (Charts, diagrams, line drawings, and maps—not seen.)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 1992

ISBN: 0-688-11034-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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