A superb work that paints the resilient athlete as a fierce competitor and an unforgettable sportsman.

COURAGE BEYOND THE GAME

THE FREDDIE STEINMARK STORY

Heartfelt biography of a Texas football star whose life was cut short by cancer.

Inspired by interviews with coaches, teammates and friends and a 1971 autobiography, award-winning sportswriter Dent (Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football, 2007, etc.) tracks Freddie Joe Steinmark’s early years and burgeoning career with the Texas Longhorns. From his childhood in 1950s Denver, Colo., Steinmark’s interest in sports flourished, carefully groomed and profoundly encouraged by his father, a self-made athlete turned cop who’d sacrificed a professional baseball career to raise his son. “A small child with fragile bones” yet dubbed “a born winner” by early mentors, Steinmark’s diminutive stature proved a surprisingly suitable match for his steely, fearless determination on the field. Dent budgets his narrative wisely, proffering equal parts sports achievement and personal accomplishment in tracing his subject’s incremental ascent to greatness as he earned the admiration of fellow teammates like star quarterback Roger Behler. As the Longhorns’ “golden boy” key safety, the “155-pound peach-fuzz kid” exhibited drive and tireless perseverance on the gridiron, making him a respected letterman under Coach Darrell Royal. However, soon after a game-saving field performance, Steinmark suffered a crushing blow when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer that would eventually claim his life at 22. Dent also includes the story of Steinmark’s shyly romantic courtship of high-school sweetheart Linda Wheeler, an intensive love that endured throughout their tenure together at the University of Texas. The author also bolsters the biography with a fond foreword from current Texas head coach Mack Brown, who, to this day, continues to memorialize Steinmark’s legacy by bringing his photograph along to the team’s away-games.

A superb work that paints the resilient athlete as a fierce competitor and an unforgettable sportsman.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-312-65285-2

Page Count: 307

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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