A winner for fans of modern football.



A thorough but light-handed account of the making of a sports dynasty.

Peyton and Eli Manning are the big names in a football family with roots in the football-crazy Deep South, Eli renowned as the second-highest-paid quarterback in NFL history, Peyton as “the face of the most popular sport in America.” Yet the Mannings, as older readers and fans will know, go beyond the brothers. Longtime Sports Illustrated reporter Anderson (The Storm and the Tide: Tragedy, Hope, and Triumph in Tuscaloosa, 2014, etc.) begins and ends his vigorous story with Peyton’s triumphant performance at Super Bowl 50, when he ended his career as the lead quarterback for the Denver Broncos. As the author notes, Peyton’s numbers were legacy enough, with a record-setting number of 4,000-yard passing seasons, but he also was influential enough to change the rules regarding contact with defensive backs. Anderson digs in deep to trace the family franchise to the Depression era, especially to patriarch Archie Manning, who began as a rising star in basketball but, having failed an audition for a college slot, switched over to football at Ole Miss and, “a classic overachiever,” became a renowned quarterback with a healthy respect for the fundamentals of the game: controlling the ball with the fingers and not the palm, standing with balance, throwing straight and on-target. Archie’s college career helped improve a strained relationship with his own father, and he set numerous records and became a legend in Ole Miss lore. Archie Manning certainly isn’t an obscure figure in football, nor is his son Cooper, forced to leave the game for medical reasons, but it’s good to see both get more of their due from under the shadow of their more famous kin, and Anderson’s yarn never wobbles.

A winner for fans of modern football.

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-88382-2

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?