An eye-opener for those who remember the ’60s; for everyone else, a welcome introduction to that tumultuous time as...

DID IT! FROM YIPPIE TO YUPPIE

JERRY RUBIN, AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY

Rich in yippie/hippie goodness, a scrapbooklike biography of the agitator and gadfly who went from the barricades to Wall Street—and ticked everybody off at every point along the way.

Mention the word “yippie” to a person of a certain age, and the first person who comes to mind will most likely be Abbie Hoffman. That’s not quite fair, writes music and pop-culture journalist Thomas (Listen, Whitey!: The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975, 2012, etc.): “Abbie was a fan of Jerry before Jerry even knew Abbie existed.” Active in leftist politics since the early 1960s, Rubin (1938-1994) was a Zelig of dissent, everywhere at once, influential to everyone he met—including soon-to-be-former Beatle John Lennon and a re-emerging Bob Dylan. Rubin was also one of the Chicago Eight, a guy with an FBI file a foot thick, under suspicion for every sort of mayhem, including a presumed threat to lace the water supply of the Windy City with enough LSD to send every Chicagoan on an intergalactic trip. (Here, Thomas helpfully fact-checks: “it would take five tons of acid to effectively contaminate the water supply,” showing just how outlandish the government’s investigations could get back in the day.) As the author writes, sardonically, Rubin was so controversial that his prep school didn’t invite him back for the 25th anniversary—but enshrined him as one of the class heroes at the 50th, by which time he had come back from living underground and become an investment banker, earning the enmity of many erstwhile comrades. Things did not end well for Rubin, author of the famed take-it-to-the-man countercultural manifesto Do It! Thomas’s oversized, overstuffed book, studded with photos and news clippings, charts that unlikely trajectory, noting, sympathetically, that “no matter who Jerry was at any given moment…it was never a put-on.”

An eye-opener for those who remember the ’60s; for everyone else, a welcome introduction to that tumultuous time as illustrated through one of its most memorable personalities.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60699-892-2

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Fantagraphics Books

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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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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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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