Likely too long for many readers, but the author effectively allows the depressing events to speak for themselves.

500 DAYS

SECRETS AND LIES IN THE TERROR WARS

A blow-by-blow, episodic reconstruction of the fallout from 9/11 in the highest spheres of terrorist strategy.

Former New York Times reporter Eichenwald (Conspiracy of Fools, 2005, etc.) chronicles the entire post-9/11 year-and-a-half spectacular, demonstrating literally how the anti-terrorist hysteria in the United States, and the hatred of America and general global paranoia, forged the “trauma that haunts the world to this day.” The author begins in medias res, from the frightened exodus of White House workers fleeing the executive mansion once news of the World Trade Center attack erupted that morning. He moves in swift, tidily edited steps—e.g., discussions by White House Counsel officials in choosing Guantanamo Bay for detainees in custody; Vice President Cheney’s urging of immediate aggressive action against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan; the unanimous passage in the Senate of Bush’s sweeping and unprecedented war powers resolution; the seizure and torture of the Kuwaiti Ahmad El-Maati on suspicion of carrying a “sensitive” Canadian map later proved specious; the discovery of the American John Walker Lindh fighting for the Taliban; British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s agreement to help America’s efforts in Iraq as long as it emphasized the dictator's threat of weapons of mass destruction, which Iraq did not have; and on and on. All the dramatis personae from various government departments are here as well as foreign leaders and al-Qaeda operatives, all gunning for war, subterfuge and mayhem. Eichenwald ends with a desultory epilogue depicting the demise and burial at sea of Osama bin Laden.

Likely too long for many readers, but the author effectively allows the depressing events to speak for themselves.

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4516-6938-1

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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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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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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