A candid story that will resonate for many midlife readers.

IN THE LONG RUN

A FATHER, A SON, AND UNINTENTIONAL LESSONS IN HAPPINESS

A CBS News national correspondent reassesses his priorities after 12 successful years in the ruthlessly competitive TV news business.

As this polished memoir opens, the 46-year-old author is covering the 2008 Democratic primaries and fighting to win the air time that will guarantee his continued rise in network news. At the time, however, he was beginning to feel ignored and marginalized by new bosses, and he was also reminded of his father’s race times at age 46 in the New York City marathon. So Axelrod decided to get in shape, run in the 2009 marathon and beat his father’s best time. In alternating chapters, the author describes his arduous training for the big race and his relationship with his successful trial-lawyer father, a troubled charmer with few friends who escaped the pressures of life, marriage, and fatherhood through running. Axelrod’s desire to outrun his father fits nicely with his driven ambition to provide handsomely for his family—a wife and three young children whom he rarely sees during months of constant travel. Following one of his workaholic father’s rules for success—“Never say no”—Axelrod accepted assignments to cover the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, hoping that his bosses were finally coming around. But he failed to consult his pregnant wife, and his marriage became badly strained. The author eventually realized that his quest for fame and money was clouding the fact that he was obsessively focused on work that he did not really enjoy. He resolved to curb his ambition and settle down, in all respects, with his family.

A candid story that will resonate for many midlife readers.

Pub Date: May 17, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-19211-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

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

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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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