A lucid, well-written work of regional history that opens necessary conversation and has broader implications—essential for...




A searching study of one of the American West’s signature massacres, distinguished by the multiethnic nature of its perpetrators and the legal case that ensued.

As Jacoby (History/Brown Univ.; Crimes Against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation, 2001) observes, the so-called Camp Grant Massacre, which took place on April 30, 1871, outside of Tucson, “is neither the biggest nor the best known of the flurry of brutal massacres of American Indians that occurred during the closing decades of the nineteenth century.” What sets the slaughter apart was not its target—Apaches who, though accustomed to being killed on sight, had nonetheless come to a kind of accommodation with the U.S. government—but its planners, a group of Anglos, Mexicans and Mexican Americans who had various commercial and ideological reasons for wishing the Apaches dead. The bulk of the force, though, was made up of other Indians, O’odham people who called the Apache simply ’O:b, “the enemy.” Jacoby skillfully examines the mixed makeup and motivations of this force, walking the thin line between history and legend and the thinner line between sympathy and objectivity. The perpetrators of the massacre, which cost the lives of 150 Apaches, most of them women and children, earned renown nationally in a time of social Darwinist campaigns to deracinate Indians. Though tried for murder, they were swiftly acquitted. Jacoby seeks to assign authorship and responsibility in a time of endemic violence in the outback, but of putative civilization-building in the nearby cities. Longtime Southwesterners remember the massacre today, but it seldom figures in the history texts and in conversation, learned or otherwise. As Jacoby notes, even the descendants of the Apache victims seldom mention it, “out of respect for the…custom of not discussing issues that might exacerbate others’ despair.”

A lucid, well-written work of regional history that opens necessary conversation and has broader implications—essential for students of the American West.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59420-193-6

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2008

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


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 clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

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A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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