A provocative guide that could embolden those with substantial debt to pursue evasive action; some consumers may not be...

Debt Cleanse


An audacious playbook focuses on absolving one’s debts.

This instructional book by Newbery (Burn Zones: Playing Life’s Bad Hands, 2015), who wangled his way out of $26 million of debt, could be a panacea for the millions of Americans owing large sums of money. The author’s “debt cleanse” plan is described in considerable detail, both as it pertains to overall strategy and to specific forms of obligations. At the heart of the proposal is a notion some consumers may find unsettling: Newbery recommends, rather bluntly, to “stop paying every debt you have.” He couples this with additional advice that could be regarded as surprising, if not financially controversial: Move assets out of one’s name, “ignore creditors,” dispute debts “even if you owe them,” and “welcome lawsuits.” The author applies this basic methodology to the most common forms of debt consumers face, devoting a chapter each to mortgages, vehicle loans, student loans, business loans, secured personal loans, credit cards and unsecured personal loans, medical bills, payday loans, and collection accounts. Every chapter is written in perky, consumer-friendly language, detailing a step-by-step approach to either settling a debt “for pennies on the dollar” or not resolving it at all. The 25 steps in the chapter on vehicle loans, for example, are characterized as “Mile One,” “Mile Two,” and so on; Mile Eleven is “Get an Attorney in Your Pit,” while Mile Twenty-One is “Try to Find the Middle Road.” Regardless of the type of debt, the overarching theme is that, rather than be intimidated by creditors, the consumer should use every means available to delay or avoid paying it off. As a testament to this approach, the author boasts “over 900 deficiencies, document requests, interrogatories, requests for admissions, deposition questions, and letter templates” in a final section of “action tools” that may have some readers playing amateur attorney. Thankfully, the book includes a levelheaded chapter that discusses how, after ridding oneself of crushing bills, to strive for a debt-free life.

A provocative guide that could embolden those with substantial debt to pursue evasive action; some consumers may not be comfortable with the volume’s unconventional, sometimes confrontational approach.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61961-322-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Community Books

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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