A compelling story of women with talent, artistic vision, and spines of steel.

THE QUEENS OF ANIMATION

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WOMEN WHO TRANSFORMED THE WORLD OF DISNEY AND MADE CINEMATIC HISTORY

Inspiring tale of the women who contributed their creative prowess to Walt Disney’s creations.

Holt (Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars, 2016, etc.), who writes with a researcher’s mind and a storyteller’s heart, engagingly chronicles the lives of the women animators at Disney from their humble (and much ill-treated) beginnings breaking into the Ink and Paint Department during the company’s rough commencement, through its founder’s death in 1966, to the studio’s modern age. In the majority of the narrative, the author focuses on five fascinating women who broke into the studio and made significant contributions. The first was Bianca Majolie, who went to high school with Walt Disney. The second, Grace Huntington, is worthy of her own biography. When she wasn’t laboring over Snow White or Bambi or dealing with the ingrained chauvinism at the studio, she was breaking aviation records as the highest-flying woman on Earth. There’s also Sylvia Holland and Ethel Kulsar, whose vision for Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid would find its way onto cinema screens nearly 50 years after they wrote its treatment; and Mary Blair, the visionary who became invaluable to Walt, creating the concept art for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and the Disneyland attraction It’s a Small World. Though these women have long since passed—Holt based her portrayals on correspondence, notes, photographs, journals, and interviews with family and friends—the author’s resurrection of this lost age is eminently readable and inspiring and will appeal to the many fans of Hidden Figures. Disney-philes will appreciate many of the rarely revealed stories, some of which are painful—e.g., the stars of the racist-leaning Song of the South, among them Academy Award winner Hattie McDaniel, barred from their own premiere.

A compelling story of women with talent, artistic vision, and spines of steel.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-43915-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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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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