Explosive, pull-no-punches reporting that is certain to stir controversy.



An alarming report on Israel’s devastating 2014 attack on Gaza.

Alternet senior writer Blumenthal (Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, 2013, etc.) arrived in Gaza on the 38th day of the recent conflict, just as the Israeli military took to the air with fighter jets and drones to deliver a relentless barrage of missiles and bombs. In a narrative based on interviews with citizens, physicians, and others, the author writes that the Israeli military “unleashed massive force against the civilian population,” killing 2,200 people (mostly Palestinian civilians), wounding over 10,000, and destroying about 18,000 homes. Some 3 million bullets were expended in wreaking $7 billion in damage, he writes. “The shocking level of firepower Israeli forces exerted against Gaza’s civilian infrastructure told the story of a frustrated Goliath unable to punish its vastly underarmed foe into submission,” writes Blumenthal. Israel, protected by an advanced sheltering and early warning system, had far fewer casualties. Sympathetic to Gaza's 1.8 million refugees and highly critical of Israel's increasingly right-wing leaders, the author attributes the ferocity of the Israeli attack on “bloodlust” over the deaths of three Israeli teenagers who, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, had been “abducted and murdered by human animals.” Netanyahu added: “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.” Based on his observations and accounts from survivors, the author charges that the Israeli onslaught targeted Palestinian civilians rather than Hamas fighters. He claims that Israeli soldiers engaged in execution-style killings, deliberately destroyed Gaza City high-rise buildings housing dozens of local media organizations, used Palestinians as human shields, and attacked cemeteries as well as U.N. schools that served as refugee shelters. The war elevated the status of “fundamentalist warriors” in Israel and left a wake of “rage and spreading radicalism” that is certain to bring more military conflict.

Explosive, pull-no-punches reporting that is certain to stir controversy.

Pub Date: June 30, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-56858-511-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Nation Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.



Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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