Time flies when you're having fun: that's the message of these congenial essays on retirement by Mosedale (The Men Who Invented Broadway, 1980, etc.). Mosedale is a midwestern journalist who came to N.Y.C. and made it. But even though he loved his high-pressure job as a writer for the CBS Evening News, he followed through with his life-plan, which included retirement at age 65 in order to ``do something else.'' When he retired, the ``something else'' was still essentially unformed, though it came to include writing this book; sitting ``around the apartment and watch[ing]'' his wife (who teaches learning-disabled children in their home); nurturing his interests in Shakespeare, opera, and football; and finally organizing his and his wife's book collection. Mosedale also walked every day, enjoyed the birth of his first grandchild, and spent the summer on an island in Minnesota. And he was happy, with no regrets and no itch to get back in harness. These essays mirror that contentment: Reflections on his present days include thoughts on renewing an old friendship; on an AIDS controversy; on the finances of retirement (not important after the fact, Mosedale says, but, then, he's healthy, well provided for, and has lived in the same rent-controlled apartment for 30 years); on finding a long-sought volume of Trollope. Other pieces deal with his past: a battle with alcoholism; his friendship with the late Harry Reasoner; life with two older sisters. At the heart of the book stands his wife, Betty, who's surely what used to be called a ``sainted woman.'' Throughout, commentary and autobiography mingle in graceful, pleasing prose—in fact, a little dissonance might have added more texture to the elegant flow of words. A companionable volume, full of reassurance that family, friends, and a lively intellect can smooth the transition to retirement—to what Mosedale calls ``the sudden silence after the roar of work.''

Pub Date: June 2, 1993

ISBN: 0-517-58641-X

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1993

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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 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...


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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