A sweeping yet richly detailed history of the American Revolution in the Carolinas, chronicling the 178081 campaign of British forces to reclaim those two colonies. Buchanan (former archivist at Cornell and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) reminds us that the war for the southern colonies, a struggle ``long, bloody, and obstinate,'' was of crucial importance to the revolution's outcome, yet it has received less attention than some of the northern campaigns. Determined to regain the rich Carolina farmland, the British, under Lord Cornwallis, combined their forces with considerable numbers of local Tories. They eventually captured Charleston and destroyed the American forces at the battle of Camden (largely because of the inept leadership of General Horatio Gates). Tarleton's hated British Legion rode roughshod over the countryside, launching repeated swift, brutal attacks against civilians and militias, burning homes, confiscating livestock, and hanging some who resisted. The violence only rekindled opposition among Carolinians, who flocked to such ingenious guerrilla chiefs as Thomas Sumter, Dan Morgan, and Francis (the ``Swamp Fox'') Marion. Their groups constantly harassed both the crack British regulars and the Tory militia. Buchanan vigorously describes the nature of guerrilla warfare in the South, and traces the series of skirmishes waged by rejuvenated American forces, culminating in the great American victory at Kings Mountain.The battles of Cowpens and Guilford Court House, although technically victories for the British, proved to be the last gasp for the Crown's badly damaged forces. Buchanan provides fine sketches of the many remarkable men who fought on both sides during the campaign, and vivid descriptions of 18th-century warfare. A tense, exciting historical account of a little-known chapter of the Revolution, displaying history writing at its best.

Pub Date: March 14, 1997

ISBN: 0-471-16402-X

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 1997

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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