An absorbing and unretouched view of the far-from-picture- perfect Gulf War, presented with grit, humor, and exceptional clarity by Washington Post reporter Moore. In contrast to the precisely choreographed rout depicted in early, heavily censored reports, Moore—from her almost front-row seat in the mobile command post of the Marine Corps' chief on-site officer, Lt. Walter E. Boomer—offers a grim and often gripping account of ``a war like every other, fraught with mistakes, miscalculations, and human frailty.'' Despite such innovations as computerized tactical models and satellite communications, this very modern war remained, at ground level, ``messy and dirty and imprecise,'' with massive casualties avoided only through ``pure dumb luck.'' In the best battlefield tradition, the author, a veteran Pentagon correspondent, devotes much of her narrative to well-rounded portraits of the soldiers themselves. Chief among them is a group of remarkably candid, intelligent, and compassionate officers led by Lt. Boomer, a Vietnam vet who ``knew war and abhorred its consequences.'' On the grunt level, there are glimpses of young tankers riding alternating waves of boredom, fear, and anticipation as they hover on the edge of a border minefield, as well as of the gung-ho female troops who had to fight to be sent to the war zone. Deftly mixing fast-paced battlefield scenes with an unsparing analysis of the political and tactical considerations of command decisions, Moore—who came closer to enemy fire than many soldiers- -earns her stripes as a first-rate war correspondent. (Photos—not seen)

Pub Date: June 14, 1993

ISBN: 0-684-19418-X

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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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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