Keahey fully understands the art of taking the road less traveled—a solid addition to his body of work.

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HIDDEN TUSCANY

DISCOVERING ART, CULTURE, AND MEMORIES IN A WELL-KNOWN REGION'S UNKNOWN PLACES

Veteran journalist and author Keahey (Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean, 2011, etc.) chronicles his sojourns to lightly visited areas of Tuscany.

The author focuses on areas ignored by most travel guides “to avoid writing about the whole of Tuscany, concentrating on the coastal area, its islands, and a handful of inland villages—never straying far from the sea—which Americans seldom seem to visit.” A product of his trips to Tuscany during spring, summer and early fall of 2012, Keahey’s delightful sketches offer alternatives to the standard routes and methods of vacation travel. Rather than a guidebook, Keahey explains his narrative should be the basis for inspired travel—“pick a direction, carry a map so you know how to get back to your resting place each evening, and set out each morning with no agenda.” The author does not list accommodations, restaurants or star attractions (except for a few favorites), encouraging the discovery of simple pleasures found in less-visited environments. In northwest Tuscany, Keahey profiles sculptors whose medium is the fine Carrera marble found in the surrounding area. He deftly recounts the effects of World War II on Italy, and he dusts off the fascinating history of the Etruscans in the south. Though venturing to the many islands off the coast during late summer makes travel a bit more arduous, the rewards prove worthwhile. Writes Keahey: “One benefit of visiting Capraia in August is being able to lie back in a lounge chair and watch the star-filled sky during a Perseid meteor shower.” Of course, this is Italy, so food is a frequent subject. Among other highlights, the author recounts his visit to the town of Lari, “one of Italy’s pasta production centers.”

Keahey fully understands the art of taking the road less traveled—a solid addition to his body of work.

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-02431-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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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 PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

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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