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

OAK FLAT

A FIGHT FOR SACRED LAND IN THE AMERICAN WEST

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. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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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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