An often intemperate account that will please Hillary-bashers and provide timely fodder for the upcoming Republican-led...

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DARK FORCES

THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN BENGHAZI

Veteran journalist Timmerman (Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender, 2007, etc.) offers a blistering indictment of the Obama administration’s handling of the deadly 2012 event now known simply as “Benghazi.”

On Sept, 11, 2012, four Americans, including the United States ambassador, were killed in attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. The White House and State Department claim that the attack—already the subject of several Congressional investigations and soon to be probed again by House Republicans—was a protest turned violent over an anti-Islam YouTube video. Drawing on interviews with sources in the region, Timmerman argues that Benghazi was a well-planned, state-sponsored terrorist attack by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He also claims that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew that terrorists were behind the attack but made up the spontaneous protest cover story to preserve the appearance of success in their anti-terrorist policies. It was the eve of the 2012 presidential election, and Obama had claimed that the “tide of war [was] receding.” Benghazi, writes the author, is “the deepest, the darkest, and the dirtiest political scandal of recent American history.” Viewing post-Gadhafi Libya as approaching “normal” status, the State Department ignored pleas for greater security for American diplomats and facilities when in fact Libya was “spinning wildly out of control,” with “heavily armed street thugs” roaming neighborhoods. The Benghazi compound was left to defend itself by a secretary of state who wanted only to celebrate a success story for the November election and then “prepare her own coronation as the first female president…in 2016.” Timmerman navigates the complex story of Libya’s role in the period as an arms bazaar for terrorists and faults U.S. policymakers for trying to distinguish between violent and nonviolent Islamist groups.

An often intemperate account that will please Hillary-bashers and provide timely fodder for the upcoming Republican-led Benghazi investigation.

Pub Date: June 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-232119-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Broadside Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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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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