A solid contribution to contemporary political analysis and a highly useful and timely companion in an election cycle marked...

READ REVIEW

STROM THURMOND'S AMERICA

Think Strom Thurmond, uber-right-winger and segregationist, is a figure from America’s political past? By Crespino’s (History/Emory Univ.; In Search of Another Country: Mississippi and the Conservative Counterrevolution, 2007, etc.) account, Thurmond is the guiding spirit of the modern GOP.

Readers of a certain age might remember South Carolinian Thurmond as the fiery door-blocking defender of the Old South who, hypocritically, fathered a daughter out of wedlock with an African-American constituent. He was famous in his time for delivering a 24-hour-long speech in filibuster against a civil rights act in 1957; less well known was the fact that as soon as he finished talking, the Senate voted the act into law. It is a mistake to dismiss Thurmond as a relic, though, for Crespino reminds readers that when Barry Goldwater was just beginning his political career, Thurmond was busily “denouncing federal meddling in private business, the growing socialist impulse in American politics, and the dangers of statism,” all things of compulsive concern to rightists today. Thurmond was also a pioneer in obsessing over Fidel Castro, “the only senator to issue an unequivocal call for invasion” following the revelation that the Soviets were housing missiles in Cuba. Crespino traces Thurmond’s enduring influence to the intervention of Ronald Reagan, who led the conservative charge in the GOP’s first effort to denature its “dreaded moderate or liberal” wing, and of Richard Nixon, who, rather than view Thurmond as a “reactionary southern racist and Bircher extremist,” played to the senator’s fervent desire to be perceived as a statesman. Given the influence of Thurmond’s protégés and successors—not least Lee Atwater and his protégé, Karl Rove—on the GOP today, it’s small wonder that Thurmond’s legacy should be thriving.

A solid contribution to contemporary political analysis and a highly useful and timely companion in an election cycle marked by the resurgence of the controversies of Thurmond’s day.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-8090-9480-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2012

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