A vivid portrait of 1920s American aviation, whose dazzling technical progress could never keep up with the dangerously...

RACE TO HAWAII

THE 1927 DOLE AIR DERBY AND THE THRILLING FIRST FLIGHTS THAT OPENED THE PACIFIC

A page-turning account of “the precarious, pioneering flights to Hawaii” during the late 1920s.

Learning of Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 trans-Atlantic flight, Hawaii pineapple tycoon James Dole immediately offered $25,000 (the same amount won by Lindbergh) for the first nonstop from Oakland, California, to Honolulu. The result was a spectacular story featuring dozens of heroes, not all of whom survived. Journalist Ryan (Hell-Bent: One Man's Crusade to Crush the Hawaiian Mob, 2014) enthusiastically narrates the exciting tale. Though the Dole Derby doesn’t begin until Page 169, few readers will regret the author’s account of earlier attempts. In 1925, a small Navy crew left Oakland in a flying boat but landed 450 miles short when the gas ran out. They spent 10 days drifting slowly toward the islands until they were rescued within sight of land, starving and nearly dead of thirst. In early 1927, two Army fliers carefully prepared a Fokker trimotor and enjoyed a mostly uneventful flight, arriving a month after Dole’s announcement, making the derby an anticlimax. This did not discourage a crowd of eager applicants, and Ryan recounts their biographies, technical efforts, and flights, which include so many malfunctions that readers will conclude that Lindbergh was either a genius or very lucky. Of 15 planes that entered, seven dropped out because of mechanical problems, including several crashes. Eight left the starting line on Aug. 16, 1927; four aborted. Two of the four who continued landed in Honolulu, and two disappeared. One plane that aborted tried again and also disappeared. All told, 10 fliers died during the derby, causing James Dole to harbor “bitterness over his association with so many fliers’ deaths.”

A vivid portrait of 1920s American aviation, whose dazzling technical progress could never keep up with the dangerously adventurous fliers who tested the limits of their fragile craft and often died in the process.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-912777-25-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 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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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

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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