Appropriately detailed, beautifully written story of the Stuarts’ rise and fall—will leave readers clamoring for the further...

REBELLION

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND FROM JAMES I TO THE GLORIOUS REVOLUTION

Biographer, historian and novelist Ackroyd (Three Brothers, 2014, etc.) continues his History of England series with the third of six proposed volumes.

What makes the author so special is that he relates history as it once was told by the bards. Ackroyd tells us not just the history, but the story behind it and the story as it might have been viewed at the time. This was a violent period of religious struggle, with countless groups vying to eliminate each other and all of them hating the Catholics. King James was so impressed by the wealth of England that he immediately set about spending just about every penny in the treasury. He relied mostly on the help of his favorites at court, particularly the Duke of Buckingham, who scoffed at Parliament’s impeachment. The premature death of Henry, James’ eldest and most Protestant son, left inept Charles to inherit the throne and continue the Stuart traditions of divine right and treating Parliament as his piggy bank. They just couldn’t accept that the king might be subject to English common law. All this led up to the civil war, the beheading of Charles and the rise of Oliver Cromwell, who was a man with more power than any king and who ruled as an absolute military dictator. His death quickly brought Parliament together to reinstitute the House of Lords and the office of king in the person of Charles II. He and his brother, James II, clung to the Catholic religion, generally poor attitude toward Parliament and lots of devious plots, which inevitably led up to the Glorious Revolution. Oddly enough, during the reigns of the early Stuart kings, trade increased, shipbuilding peaked, coal production doubled, and the agricultural revolution laid the basis for the 18th-century’s Industrial Revolution.

Appropriately detailed, beautifully written story of the Stuarts’ rise and fall—will leave readers clamoring for the further adventures awaiting England in the 18th century.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1250003638

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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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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