“Every single member of the Allied community [holds] a share of the responsibility” for the betrayal, Davies insists. And...

RISING ’44

THE BATTLE OF WARSAW

A thorough recounting of what the author considers to be “one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century”—and surely one of the most shameful betrayals in the world annals.

By Davies’s (History/London Univ.; The Isles, 2000, etc.) account, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 has been all but buried in Western and Russian history books as a source of deep embarrassment. It is not to be confused, he hastens to add, with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of the previous year, an attempt by Jewish partisans to break the Nazi stranglehold on the city. This uprising, equally heroic, involved elements of the underground Polish Home Army, working in collaboration with resistance units and commandos. They aimed to open a great battle within the Polish capital of Warsaw in support of the advancing Red Army, which by August of 1944 was nearing the banks of the Vistula River. They did so: 40,000 Polish fighters went up against a vastly larger German force. The occupiers were not exactly prepared for the uprising, though, as Davies notes, “Capital cities awaiting liberation were dangerous places. Everyone knew that something could erupt at any moment.” Astonishingly, the Red Army halted its advance, allowing the Germans to regroup and stop the uprising. Davies charts the course of that great betrayal, which he considers a deliberate effort on the part of the Soviets to crush the non-Communist Polish resistance—which had been highly effective against the Nazi enemy, responsible for the assassination of “a whole grisly gallery of SS and Gestapo men” as well as the deaths of hundreds of ordinary German soldiers. But he also implicates the other Allies; even though Churchill had proposed sending Stalin a message saying, “Our sympathies are aroused for these almost unarmed people whose special faith has led them to attack German tanks, guns, and planes,” in the end the West did nothing to save the Home Army.

“Every single member of the Allied community [holds] a share of the responsibility” for the betrayal, Davies insists. And here he issues a resounding indictment.

Pub Date: May 10, 2004

ISBN: 0-670-03284-0

Page Count: 784

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2004

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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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