A valuable contribution to the study of modern electoral politics in an age that Theodore White, and perhaps even Hunter S....

DARK MONEY

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE BILLIONAIRES BEHIND THE RISE OF THE RADICAL RIGHT

A careful exposé of the libertarian agenda, spearheaded by the Koch brothers, to “impose their minority views on the majority by other means.”

Those other means, writes New Yorker staff writer Mayer (The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, 2008, etc.), are accomplished by a flood of money—$760 million in the last five years alone—pumped into the political system to two immediate ends: to “cripple a twice-elected Democratic president” and “supplant the Republican Party.” It took decades for those floodwaters to rise, during which time, Mayer suggests, Charles and David Koch had come to realize that their unfettered free-market agenda was unpalatable to most Americans. (Refreshingly, on that note, the author affirms that those Americans value fairness.) The brothers, scions of an activist so doctrinaire that he worried the John Birch Society was soft on communism, banded with the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife, “an heir to the Mellon banking and Gulf Oil fortunes,” the Coors family of Colorado, the founders of Amway, and others opposed to any governmental effort to regulate their enterprises, from monitoring pollution to investigating financial practices. The result: that flood of “dark” money, bought-and-paid-for candidates (Mayer names Ted Cruz high among them), and the co-optation of the Republican Party in order to promote the interests of the decidedly 1 percent stratum, which in the meantime still struggled to rebrand itself “as champions of the other ‘99 percent.’ ” Mayer closely documents her charges—about 10 percent of the book is notes—while delivering a swiftly flowing narrative. None of it should surprise anyone who follows the political press, and some of the author’s thunder has been blunted, if not stolen, by Daniel Schulman’s Sons of Wichita (2014). Still, Mayer provides plenty of ammunition for those convinced that the U.S. is no longer a representative democracy but instead an oligarchy.

A valuable contribution to the study of modern electoral politics in an age that Theodore White, and perhaps even Hunter S. Thompson, would not recognize.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-53559-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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?

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 14

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist

WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

more