A fresh-feeling account of the war years in London and the sympathy the public held for their royal family.

THE KING'S WAR

THE FRIENDSHIP OF GEORGE VI AND LIONEL LOGUE DURING WORLD WAR II

A wartime sequel to Logue and Conradi’s The King’s Speech (2010).

Logue, whose father inherited the private papers that Australian-born speech therapist Lionel Logue kept over the nearly quarter-century of his working (and friendly) relationship with King George VI, finally sifted through the rich cache just before the film version of The King's Speech was completed. The material that the author found would influence the film’s essential detail of the relationship between the two. Logue realized how loyal his grandfather had been in keeping private the work he and the king were doing to perfect the king’s speech, especially during the key war years. He also realized how essential Lionel’s assistance had been in bolstering the king’s public image, particularly after the fresh abdication of his more popular brother, Edward VIII, in 1936. As the second son, George (“Bertie”) was never meant to be king, and his speech impediment was a source of early humiliation and shame. After visiting numerous doctors (nine by one count), Bertie arrived for a first visit at Lionel’s London office on Harley Street in 1926 and made great strides by following the unorthodox breathing techniques of the not-quite-doctor and fairly untrained Logue (there was no such discipline as “speech therapy” at the time), who also recognized the psychological component to stuttering. Logue and Conradi swiftly move through the war years, providing fascinating details about how the British coped through the Battle of Britain—and the meaning for regular Britons that their royalty suffered along with them. When radio formed their major community contact, the speeches by the king—practiced by him and Logue, who eliminated difficult words and replaced them with deliberate phrasing—proved to be a salve to the public and inspired resolve.

A fresh-feeling account of the war years in London and the sympathy the public held for their royal family.

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64313-192-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more