The author of Rush to Judgment, the first book to attack the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of JFK, takes on the CIA's possible role in the murder, by way of Florida jury trial. It was Mark Lane who found a CIA conspiracy behind the Jonestown massacre (he was there) in 1979's The Strongest Poison and FBI complicity in 1977's Code Name ``Zorro'': The murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. This time out he offers his most damning version yet of CIA wrongdoing. Lane assembles his evidence with a trial lawyer's cool skill and builds to a riveting climax: an eyewitness account of CIA spy E. Howard Hunt paying off a CIA- backed Cuban assassination team in Dallas the night before the murder and clearly setting up Jack Ruby—before the assassination- -to kill Oswald, the patsy, who never fired a shot. Lane's evidence is drawn from a trial he conducted in Florida in 1978 while defending a small political magazine, Spotlight, which had lost a $650,000 defamation suit brought against it by Hunt. The magazine claimed that Hunt was in Dallas at the time of the assassination while Hunt claimed he was in Washington, D.C. When the appellate court vacated the decision and called for a second trial, Spotlight's owner called in Lane to defend him. Lane saw a case he might well lose, but also his first opportunity ever to cross- examine top figures in Lane's assassination scenario. And indeed he deposes CIA directors Richard Helms and Stansfield Turner, G. Gordon Liddy, Hunt himself—and strikes gold in CIA agent Marita Lorenz, who accompanied two cars full of guns and assassins from Miami to Dallas and, under oath, names all of them, then tells of a follow-up talk with the proud top assassin who pulled off ``the really big one...we killed the president....'' Well-reasoned at every point, Lane's convincing report sounds like the last word on the assassination—but for an alternate scenario, see Mark North's Act of Treason (below).

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 1991

ISBN: 1-56025-000-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1991

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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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Bibliophiles will love this fact-filled, bookish journey.


An engaging, casual history of librarians and libraries and a famous one that burned down.

In her latest, New Yorker staff writer Orlean (Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, 2011, etc.) seeks to “tell about a place I love that doesn’t belong to me but feels like it is mine.” It’s the story of the Los Angeles Public Library, poet Charles Bukowski’s “wondrous place,” and what happened to it on April 29, 1986: It burned down. The fire raged “for more than seven hours and reached temperatures of 2000 degrees…more than one million books were burned or damaged.” Though nobody was killed, 22 people were injured, and it took more than 3 million gallons of water to put it out. One of the firefighters on the scene said, “We thought we were looking at the bowels of hell….It was surreal.” Besides telling the story of the historic library and its destruction, the author recounts the intense arson investigation and provides an in-depth biography of the troubled young man who was arrested for starting it, actor Harry Peak. Orlean reminds us that library fires have been around since the Library of Alexandria; during World War II, “the Nazis alone destroyed an estimated hundred million books.” She continues, “destroying a culture’s books is sentencing it to something worse than death: It is sentencing it to seem as if it never happened.” The author also examines the library’s important role in the city since 1872 and the construction of the historic Goodhue Building in 1926. Orlean visited the current library and talked to many of the librarians, learning about their jobs and responsibilities, how libraries were a “solace in the Depression,” and the ongoing problems librarians face dealing with the homeless. The author speculates about Peak’s guilt but remains “confounded.” Maybe it was just an accident after all.

Bibliophiles will love this fact-filled, bookish journey.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4018-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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