A stunningly revelatory chronicle of a generation long misunderstood. Adler has made a name for herself as a superb radio journalist (she's New York bureau chief for National Public Radio) and as a leading authority on paganism, feminist spirituality, and witchcraft (Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today, 1979). Now Adler proves herself a vital social historian as she shatters the myth that the 1960s were simply sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Using her own life as a jumping off point, Adler insightfully traces the growth of a generation, the development of a society in flux, and her own spiritual, political, and intellectual evolution. The only child of rather unusual parents—her mother was a flamboyant radical educator while her father was a psychiatrist and the son of Freud collaborator Alfred Adler—Adler grew up in a home of Communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era. Throughout the '60s she was a Forrest Gump of sorts, on the scene at a variety of momentous events. She participated in the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, the black voter registration drive in Mississippi, and the Cuban revolution. She also corresponded for a long time with an American soldier stationed in Vietnam. Through it all Adler wrote letters, lots of letters, which she uses as her memory bank. ``Much of my journey was already on paper before I sat down to write it,'' she notes in her introduction. To suggest that Adler's task was simply secretarial, however, is to belittle the depth and honesty with which she addresses her subject. She is extraordinarily open, not only in her analysis of the social movements she chronicles but also about herself and her attempts at understanding. A candid book whose look backward provides a hopeful blueprint for reviving the possibilities that seemed so endless in the 1960s. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 1997

ISBN: 0-8070-7098-X

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1997

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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

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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

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