An engaging narrative that brings the colorful, late-Victorian military and political world vividly to life. (maps,...

READ REVIEW

KITCHENER

A biography of the complicated soldier who transformed Great Britain’s military from a late-Victorian fighting club into a modern army.

Pollock (Gordon, not reviewed) begins by detailing Horatio Herbert Kitchener’s quick rise from military surveyor of Britain’s colonial holdings in the Middle East and the Mediterranean to his historic victories on the Nile River at Khartoum and Omdurman. These early successes made him a household name in England and prompted the government to appoint him as commander of forces in the increasingly nasty Boer War in South Africa. It was here that Kitchener’s keen diplomatic instincts first became apparent, and Pollock suggests that the carefully crafted peace accord (which reconstructed South Africa’s ruined infrastructure and offered the defeated Boers a large measure of independence) went a long way towards healing the rift between Britain and South Africa. The unique combination of military competence, diplomatic skill, and indefatigable energy led Kitchener into the politically charged position of Indian Army commander, where his controversial military reforms upended the colonial status quo. Later on, his efforts to raise a million-man volunteer army and gear British industry up for munitions production may well have saved the Allies from defeat at the hands of Germany during WWI. Had Kitchener survived that war, Pollock suggests that its peace might well have been modeled on his successful reconciliation with South Africa rather than the retributive Treaty of Versailles.

An engaging narrative that brings the colorful, late-Victorian military and political world vividly to life. (maps, illustrations, and photos)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7867-0829-8

Page Count: 608

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more