A straightforward biography that attests to the subject’s accomplishments without embracing her politics.

POLITICAL GODMOTHER

NACKEY SCRIPPS LOEB AND THE NEWSPAPER THAT SHOOK THE REPUBLICAN PARTY

An underacknowledged newspaper publisher and conservative activist receives her biographical due.

The political influence of New Hampshire’s Union Leader as the leading newspaper in the state with the first primary has long been recognized. However, that paper’s clout is usually ascribed solely to the larger-than-life bluster of the late publisher William Loeb. Here, journalism professor Heckman shows how his wife, Nackey Scripps Loeb (1924-2000), extended the paper’s reach after taking over as publisher in 1981. The author also discusses how she helped give their shared conservative values voice during the newspaper’s ascendance, though she was always more comfortable in the shadows than the spotlight. Nackey (as she is referred to throughout the narrative) was almost universally admired as an effective manager and a principled journalist, even by those who disagreed with her ideological principles. Heckman lays out her complex legacy: Though she was underestimated due to both her gender and her disability (she was partially paralyzed after a car accident), she was adamantly anti-feminist, opposed the Americans With Disabilities Act, and served as a crusader against government encroachment and interference of any kind. Born into the Scripps journalism family, she was a reluctant newspaperwoman, but her marriage to Loeb was a match made in political heaven. “Somebody once said that he used a sword and I used a needle,” she told an interviewer. “But we were both aiming for the same target.” Throughout, Heckman makes a convincing case for her significant and lasting influence in conservative politics. From her friendship with Ronald Reagan to her support for Pat Buchanan, she was in the vanguard of the “right-wing populism” that would lead to the tea party and, eventually, the Trump presidency.

A straightforward biography that attests to the subject’s accomplishments without embracing her politics.

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64012-193-5

Page Count: 200

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: March 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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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

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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

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