As a work of advocacy, the book is compelling and convincing; as a work of art, it is masterful.

This artistically and thematically profound account of a controversial mining initiative on land that the Apaches of Arizona consider sacred suggests a culture clash of irreconcilable differences.

As she has demonstrated in previous books, MacArthur fellow Redniss (Illustration/Parsons School of Design; Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present and Future, 2015, etc.) has a scope that extends well beyond the conventional limits of the graphic novel. Here, she frames her provocative narrative with artistry that evokes the awe and wonder of Native origin stories and the timelessness of eternity. Against this majestic artistic backdrop, Redniss chronicles the machinations of a mining company boasting massive profits as they battle the Natives of the region, who “consider themselves to be at war with the United States.” As one activist notes, “we were kicked out of these holy places. The Apache religion survived…with the hope of returning one day to the ancestral homelands. There was always that prophecy: that the final fight between the Apache and America would be for our religion.” On one side are jobs and millions of dollars, though within the context that mining operations have an expiration date, in this case likely four decades, and that the Arizona landscape is littered with ghost towns, examples of what happens after the boom goes bust. On the other side are ancient spiritual values and traditions that long predate the intrusion of white settlers and their mistreatment of those who had preceded them. Amid the gorgeous illustrations, Redniss provides plenty of historical context about how the American government has violated its own agreements with those tribes—and how it continues to do so. Yet the author refuses to oversimplify, giving voice to those who feel that standing in the way of progress simply perpetuates so many of the problems endemic to communities who have suffered such abuse.

As a work of advocacy, the book is compelling and convincing; as a work of art, it is masterful.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-399-58972-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020


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


For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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