A jauntily opinionated memoir of government service from the resilient septuagenarian who was chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Resolution Trust Corp. at the height of the crises that convulsed the domestic banking industry during the 1980's. An accountant by trade, Seidman first went to Washington toward the end of the Nixon Administration, staying on when Gerald Ford assumed the presidency. He returned as head of the FDIC near the start of Ronald Reagan's second term. Casino capitalism had gathered a full head of steam by then, and Seidman's hitherto sleepy fiefdom was soon in the eye of many fiscal storms. Commercial banks were among the first casualties of laissez-faire's excesses and, here, Seidman offers behind-the-scenes accounts of how the FDIC helped deal with major failures in New England as well as in the Southwest. Also covered are the varied battles that appointed agency chiefs must wage with bureaucrats, lawmakers, politicos, and the press if they are to maintain their clout. The author goes on to provide a savvy, often witty, rundown on the roots of the S&L disaster, which burst into full bloom on his watch, albeit only after George Bush had secured a four-year lease on the White House. Among other matters, Seidman evaluates the RTC's role in the $200-billion bailout, as well as its record in running history's largest fire sale (i.e., its liquidation of the assets of seized institutions) and in seeking to make recoveries from the white-collar crooks who ran hundreds of thrifts deep into the red. Notwithstanding a less-than-graceful departure at the end of his term, the author took fond memories with him when, late in 1991, he departed Washington, convinced that the system works in the public interest. An informative briefing on the big-money games played on the banks of the Potomac.

Pub Date: June 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-2134-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1993

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?


From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

Did you like this book?