PRESUMPTION

A witty, amusing sequel to Pride and Prejudice from the pseudonymous Barrett (in real life, Julia Braun Kessler and Gabrielle Donnelly, Holy Mother, 1987). The title seems to anticipate purists' reactions. But if you can get beyond the hubris of anyone's presuming to pick up where Jane Austen left off, you'll be rewarded by an engaging Regency romance and the pleasure of following old friends (Elizabeth, Georgiana, Jane, Darcy) and nemeses (Lady Catherine, Mr. Collins, Wickham) into their new lives. Here, Georgiana Darcy has just come out into society and, having had her heart broken in P and P by the rakish young officer Wickham, has vowed never to love again. Enter the dashing Captain Heywood, who manages to charm her, and also to capture the interest of Caroline Bingley and Anne De Bourgh, Lady Catherine's daughter. Meanwhile, young architect Mr. James Leigh- Cooper has been brought to Pemberly to renovate its grounds, and he conceives an affection for Georgiana, but, as with Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy in the early days, every interchange between Georgiana and Mr. Leigh-Cooper turns into a spat and for most of the novel they believe they despise each other. At the same time, Elizabeth, though blissfully happy as Darcy's wife, is downcast by another scandal breaking out within her family, just as their reputation was beginning to recover from Lydia's elopement with Wickham: her aunt Philips has been accused of thievery from a shop and is in jail. This confirms the opinions of Elizabeth's new neighbors, especially the overbearing Lady Catherine, that Darcy debased himself by marrying into the Bennett family. The seemingly disparate plot strands of Georgiana's affection for Captain Heywood and of the case against Aunt Philips will interweave in a clever and surprising way. For Austen lovers not affronted by the whole concept, a pleasant diversion. Otherwise, a stylish entertainment that may lead some to the unsurpassable Jane.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-87131-736-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1993

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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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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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