An admiring celebration of one woman’s important contribution to an ongoing struggle.

THE STRUGGLE IS ETERNAL

GLORIA RICHARDSON AND BLACK LIBERATION

A detailed biography of a once-prominent civil rights activist.

In the 1960s, Gloria Richardson (b. 1922) was at the forefront of the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee, which targeted racial injustice in Cambridge, Maryland. Drawing on interviews with Richardson over many years, nearly 40 interviews with other activists, and a prodigious number of books and articles, Fitzgerald (History and Political Science/Cabrini Univ.) makes his literary debut with this thoroughly researched biography. Having Richardson’s cooperation proves to be both a boon and liability. She “shared her voice” as well as “many intimate details of her life and how she views the world,” but the author’s affection for her sometimes clouds the narrative. The daughter of a prominent Cambridge family, Richardson was taught “self-respect, respect for family, and respect for and service to her black community.” Undergraduate studies at Howard University grounded her in sociology, political science, and “research methods and group-management skills.” In 1962, Cambridge’s first civil rights demonstration, led by black students, included Richardson’s high school–age daughter. Soon Richardson was asked to lead the CNAC as it evolved from supporting the students to carrying out its own goals, coordinating with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to focus on voting and school desegregation. Richardson, a feisty, outspoken reformer, rejected “the politics of respectability” that had characterized protest movements of the 1950s; clashes with police, arrests, and angry demonstrations were inevitable. “Threats of violence, including murder, against CNAC members and their supporters were common,” Fitzgerald reports. Media coverage elevated Richardson to the national stage. When the Kennedy administration decided to become involved in Cambridge’s racial problems, Richardson at first felt “a sense of optimism” that, unfortunately, was short-lived. A meeting with Robert Kennedy, she remarked, seemed like an empty ritual. For the next several years, Richardson was a strong and influential voice that, the author asserts, “helped Black Power percolate” and expand.

An admiring celebration of one woman’s important contribution to an ongoing struggle.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8131-7649-9

Page Count: 370

Publisher: Univ. Press of Kentucky

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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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 48 LAWS OF POWER

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...

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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