With acumen, Knight delivers an elegant précis of a baseball team’s season, and you don’t have to be a Dodgers fan to enjoy...

THE BEST TEAM MONEY CAN BUY

THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS' WILD STRUGGLE TO BUILD A BASEBALL POWERHOUSE

A searching portrait of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2013 season, from ESPN Magazine writer Knight.

When the Guggenheim Partners purchased the Dodgers in mid-2012, they paid $2.15 billion for a fixer-upper ball club with a ramshackle stadium to match, its concrete bones as osteoporotic as those of Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. But the firm’s deep pockets would help turn the Dodgers around, on the field, in the front office, in mood, in chemistry, and in paying big for stellar talent. It wouldn’t buy them a World Series, that year or the next, but the talent made for an exciting season, which Knight chronicles with style and discernment. She knows the science of the game, its strange geometry and freakish physics, as well as its history and etiquette. She knows the patois, and she administers it discriminately: a pitch’s deception, the “lack of sock in his swing.” Knight also understands the giddiness and awe experienced by fans throughout the season; each new day is cause for hope, with each blunder—and loss—causing a great ache. Many personalities emerge as the season progresses—e.g., pitching great Clayton Kershaw and odd fellow Yasiel Puig, so culturally oblivious that he “hailed from Cuba but he may as well have been from Mars,” albeit a Martian adept at “smacking home runs and gunning down runners and generally playing like an inspired maniac fans couldn’t take their eyes off.” There’s also general manager Ned Colletti, who “preferred cowboy boots to calculators”—so much for analytics—and “refused to suffer coddled ballplayers.” Throughout the book, the author offers interesting nuggets for baseball fans, from gamesmanship to the bravery of closers to the stage 4 cancer a fat salary or ego can inflict on the clubhouse.

With acumen, Knight delivers an elegant précis of a baseball team’s season, and you don’t have to be a Dodgers fan to enjoy it.

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4767-7629-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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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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