Former Illinois Republican Congressman Findley (Silent No More: Confronting America’s False Images of Islam, 2001, etc.) reflects on the time he served in office—1960 to 1982—and the lessons he learned over the years.

The congressman reminds us of the time when bipartisanship was the rule not the exception. As a middle-of-the-road Republican, he was a fiscal conservative but also active supporter of civil-rights legislation. Although he started off as a hawk, he became a proponent of ending the war in Vietnam. An admirer of Eisenhower, Findley also respected JFK and his measured approach during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Raised in a small town in Illinois, the author began his career as a reporter while still in high school—ultimately becoming the owner and publisher of the Pike County Republican—and his first taste of politics was during the 1936 election, when he supported Alf Landon against FDR. Astonishing today, the author writes that his first election victory cost “slightly less than $21,000, all paid in full the day before voting.” In 1973, Findley, who was part of a congressional group visiting the Middle East, met Yasser Arafat and became concerned about Israel's treatment of Palestinians. This was a transformative experience. “ I became convinced Palestinians had legitimate grievances against our government,” he writes. Overlooking all other relevant geopolitical issues, including the Cold War and the oil crises, the author writes that since the Kennedy Administration, “all U.S. Presidents have done the bidding of Israel's lobby, and the Congress has done the same,” resulting in “religious bias in foreign policy” and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A serviceable overview of a distinguished career, somewhat marred by the author’s occasionally extremist views.


Pub Date: June 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-625-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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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 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...


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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