An overly detailed and dated account of the ups and downs of an Illinois political campaign, possibly of interest to black...

BEHIND THE SMILE

A STORY OF CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN'S HISTORIC SENATE CAMPAIGN

A close-up look at the senatorial campaign of a trailblazing black female politician.

Morris (Brian Piccolo: A Short Season, 1971), the first woman to win the Ring Lardner Award for sports journalism, followed the 1992 campaign of Braun, the first black woman to become a U.S. senator. The author introduces the theme of sexual harassment with a look back at Braun’s angry comments on a PBS show about the hearings that preceded the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as a Supreme Court justice. When Braun announced her candidacy, Morris, impressed, asked to follow her campaign and document it for a book. Braun agreed, and Morris kept a journal of the experience. This book is based on her journal, quotes from her interviews with the campaign staff, long statements by Braun, letters, newspaper articles, and even gossip columns from Chicago newspapers. Morris describes Braun’s campaign manager, Kgosie Matthews, to whom she could not get close, as “meticulously mannered and erudite—or rude and contemptuous.” It soon became apparent that he was not just Braun’s campaign manager, but also her lover. When staff members charged him with sexual harassment, Braun chose to reject them in order to protect the man she trusted and saw as her protector. Though she was enraged by Braun’s self-destructive behavior, Morris continued to see her as a phenomenal person with great courage and potential, and she continued to work on this book. When Braun made it clear she did not want it published, Morris concurred, not wanting to damage Braun’s career. Her decision to go public at this late date is unclear, but perhaps it is clarified by her describing this as “a cautionary tale that screams ‘hazard’ where passion and politics intersect.”

An overly detailed and dated account of the ups and downs of an Illinois political campaign, possibly of interest to black female Chicagoans, political groupies of any ilk, or feminist book clubs.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-57284-176-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Agate Midway

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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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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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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