Much food for thought even for those who don't embrace Brown’s ideology.



Animal-rights activist Brown explains why she considers being a vegan to be a moral imperative.

In this debut memoir, written with the help of Primack (The Slow Creaking of the Planets, 2007), the author presents a reasoned if controversial case that it is not enough to expose the abuses committed in factory farms and large slaughterhouses, while continuing to eat eggs, drink milk or wear wool or leather clothing. She describes abusive practices used to sheer sheep on small farms—e.g., scraping off the animal's skin when its wool becomes infested. Noting that humans and animals should be operating on a level playing field—“Animals are here with us, not for us—that's my motto”—she describes the events in her life that led her to this radical conviction, beginning with years of recovery from bone cancer in her childhood that included partial amputation of her leg and culminating with the creation of the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in 2004. One of the threads of her intriguing story is her fierce determination to lead an active life despite her disability. During her orientation at the University of Louisville, she first came into contact with animal-rights advocates from PETA and became involved in demonstrations protesting the use of animals to test the safety of medicines and cosmetics. She was arrested wearing a rabbit suit while picketing Gillette. The vignettes about the animals in her care are charming, but this is not a cozy story.

Much food for thought even for those who don't embrace Brown’s ideology.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-58333-441-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Avery

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?



This a book of earlier, philosophical essays concerned with the essential "absurdity" of life and the concept that- to overcome the strong tendency to suicide in every thoughtful man-one must accept life on its own terms with its values of revolt, liberty and passion. A dreary thesis- derived from and distorting the beliefs of the founders of existentialism, Jaspers, Heldegger and Kierkegaard, etc., the point of view seems peculiarly outmoded. It is based on the experience of war and the resistance, liberally laced with Andre Gide's excessive intellectualism. The younger existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, with their gift for the terse novel or intense drama, seem to have omitted from their philosophy all the deep religiosity which permeates the work of the great existentialist thinkers. This contributes to a basic lack of vitality in themselves, in these essays, and ten years after the war Camus seems unaware that the life force has healed old wounds... Largely for avant garde aesthetes and his special coterie.

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 1955

ISBN: 0679733736

Page Count: 228

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1955

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet