Collusion? The Trump administration, by Harding’s account, is soaking in it. Stay tuned.

COLLUSION

SECRET MEETINGS, DIRTY MONEY, AND HOW RUSSIA HELPED DONALD TRUMP WIN

Guardian foreign correspondent Harding (The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man, 2014, etc.) offers a sneak peek at details of the “Steele dossier” that have yet to unfold—and the evidence is damning indeed.

Apart from his well-known work documenting Edward Snowden’s exposé of American intelligence, the author has logged considerable time as a reporter inside Russia. It was there that he gained firsthand information about the ways of the Putin kleptocracy that lends credence to reports proffered by British intelligence analyst Christopher Steele, who in turn has extensively documented contacts with members of the team working with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, many of them subsequently placed inside the administration. Harding makes no bones of characterizing this as collusion, as the title of his book proclaims, and the crime committed by that collusion as treason, even if “vehemently denied, contested, and in certain key respects unprovable.” Some of those respects have since gained a broader airing with the arraignments of Paul Manafort and Carter Page, though many key players on the Russian side will be far from household names. Harding is at his best connecting dots that may not always be obvious, including Trump’s long history of business dealings with Russia and alleged connections to organized crime (“Trump’s links to the underworld were multifarious”), dealings that were often unsuccessful enough to force him into borrowing money from shady figures and cutting deals that may land him in prison before it’s all over. Among the most intriguing of the threads are Trump’s astoundingly checkered relations with a German banking giant that continued to lend him money even as the worst of credit risks—and that at the same time was laundering Russian money, “not small amounts but many billions of dollars.” If readers emerge from this fast-paced narrative convinced that the Trump White House is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Russian oligarchs, then there’s good reason for it.

Collusion? The Trump administration, by Harding’s account, is soaking in it. Stay tuned.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-525-56251-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

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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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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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