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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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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