Next book



A personal story that reveals much about the evolution of American liberalism.

Workmanlike biography of the woman who for 40 years owned and published the New York Post.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about Dorothy Schiff (1903–89) is that she ever managed to break out of the decorative role assigned by her wealthy German-Jewish parents and grow into a person with ideas of her own. Documentary producer Nissenson, making her print debut, emphasizes her subject’s progressive views, privileged background and good use of numerous husbands and boyfriends. Schiff’s first marriage, to unserious gentile party boy Dick Hall, removed her from her parents’ watch and gave her two children in quick succession. Second husband George Backer brought her into a literary, theatrical circle, and she got an initial taste of politics while working for FDR’s 1936 reelection campaign. In 1939, the Backers acquired the reputedly radical Post, whose draining debts Schiff would devotedly assume for the next 40 years. Three years later, she kicked her husband out and took control of the paper; in 1943, she married enterprising Post editor Ted Thackrey, who had shown her the ropes. The Post’s liberal, pro-Zionist, anti-communist stance was favored by Jewish immigrants and the working classes. After she divorced Thackrey in 1949, Schiff made the paper economically viable by courting advertisers and bringing on strong, loyal editors and writers such as James Wechsler, Paul Sann, Murray Kempton, Max Lerner, Pete Hamill, Alice Davidson, Sylvia Porter and Ted Poston, one of the first black reporters at a New York newspaper. She stuck to her New Deal ideals through the 1950s, though the paper lost its muckraking zeal and its financial fortunes began to decline in the late ’60s. Schiff sold it to Rupert Murdoch, its owner today, in 1976.

A personal story that reveals much about the evolution of American liberalism.

Pub Date: April 5, 2007

ISBN: 0-312-31310-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2007

Next 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

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview