Columbus, Ohio, journalist Yant offers a carefully documented, scathing indictment of the Persian Gulf War as a ``war of deception'' amounting to outright fraud by US leaders. Yant has combed the mainstream press and some sources outside it to gather disturbing evidence about this highly groomed war in which ``media manipulation and censorship took [on] new and sinister forms.'' But even though much of the evidence is published elsewhere, Yant pieces it together into a lucid whole. Kuwait, the author finds, deliberately provoked Iraq by raising oil prices and pumping disputed oil, and Saudi Arabia encouraged the Iraqis to assume an aggressive stance against Kuwait. Yant reviews ambiguous moves by the US (including Ambassador Glaspie's assurance to Hussein that the US had ``no opinion on Arab-Arab border conflicts''). Satellite photos taken after the invasion suggest that Iraq was not menacing Saudi Arabia; Bush, Yant says, ``deliberately overstated [Iraq's nuclear bomb capability] after surveys showed the issue could positively affect public opinion.'' The author looks at how the military pool-reporting system resulted in the news media being ``first misled, then intimidated, and finally co-opted.'' Especially chilling is a discussion of whether Iraqi troops ``withdrew'' or ``retreated,'' a distinction that the coalition (saying the troops were under retreat) used to justify the strafing and carpet-bombing that killed untold numbers of Iraqis (buried uncounted in mass graves). Overall, Yant argues that the US wanted military intervention from the beginning and hid the success of the blockade and the viability of several peace initiatives to get its way. In the best tradition of contrarian investigative journalism, and worth consideration. (Four-page photo insert—not seen.)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 1991

ISBN: 0-87975-678-0

Page Count: 210

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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