Scott teaches us that the past is a work in progress influenced by political and religious ideas and powerful rulers and...

ANCIENT WORLDS

A GLOBAL HISTORY OF ANTIQUITY

A welcome broadening of our understanding of antiquity.

In the ancient world, there was a remarkably diverse environment of ideas, knowledge, and beliefs existing among the Mediterranean, the Middle East, India, and China. Scott (Classics and Ancient History/Univ. of Warwick; Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World, 2014, etc.) focuses on developing relationships between and within communities from the 6th century B.C.E. to the 5th century C.E. That period was characterized by a significant rethinking of political ideas, societal governance, and interpersonal relationships. The author divides the book into three sections covering political systems, wars, and religion. Of course, the earlier in time a historian searches for sources, the fewer are available, but Scott boldly dives into any and all sources. What little is available was written long after events and was influenced by the chroniclers’ time and tendencies. Many readers of Western history are woefully ignorant of events in China, India, Bactria, and the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires. In this period, wars and political strife did not necessarily lead to collapse. Instead, within the chaos, societies evolved and mutated into fragile new ideologies, subject to both growth and revision. As Antiochus III drove Ptolemy IV out of the Levant, Hannibal almost took over the Roman Empire and Philip V of Greece pretty much got nowhere except to keep switching alliances. In China, the head of the Qin state rejected Confucianism for its opposite, legalism, until it was replaced by the Han dynasty. While violent wars tied ancient worlds together, only two great empires emerged with nothing but instability between. The nomadic peoples, by nature moving with all their goods, also brought religion, from China into India as Christianity moved east across the Silk Road.

Scott teaches us that the past is a work in progress influenced by political and religious ideas and powerful rulers and individuals, and he proves that we need to continue to study and learn.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-465-09472-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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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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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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