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A convincing, passionate account that both educates and infuriates.

The author’s account of his December 2005 voyage with a radical captain and crew who risk their lives to halt the Japanese whale hunt off Antarctica.

Greenpeace may garner most of the headlines in the battle to save the whales, but the real commandos in this ongoing war sail for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose passionate volunteers aren’t content with passive resistance. In this stirring account, Heller (Hell or High Water, 2004, etc.) describes his two-month journey aboard the Sea Shepherd’s 180-foot converted trawler, Farley Mowat, and its running battle against a fleet of Japanese whalers. Capt. Paul Watson and his mostly vegan 43-member crew aren’t the shy retiring types. They fly the Jolly Roger from the ship’s mast, brew their own moonshine to celebrate New Year’s Eve in an Antarctic blizzard and exclude no strategy in their quest to save whales from slaughter by the persistent Japanese. Measures include everything from trying to entangle the whale ship’s propellers with steel cables to tossing foul stink bombs onboard to sicken their crews. The Farley Mowat also comes equipped with a steel-reinforced bow, used for ramming the much larger Japanese whalers head-on. Watson, one of the founders of Greenpeace, tired of watching endangered whales die while the organization merely unfurled protest banners. Considered a “lunatic” and an “eco-terrorist” by his enemies (and possibly by some who’ll read this book), placed on the “piracy watch list” by the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence, his full-frontal assaults against both whaling and seal hunting have made him revered by his supporters and crew. Watson justifies his radical measures by pointing out that although commercial whaling has been officially banned by the UN Charter, the Japanese continue to ruthlessly kill hundreds of whales each year under the guise of “scientific research.” In fact, Heller argues, the whales are merely slaughtered for Japan’s fish markets, a crime made even more senseless by the fact that polls indicate the Japanese consumer doesn’t even like whale meat. In fact, the Japanese whaling industry loses money every year. Still, the Japanese whalers persist, refusing to back down in the face of mounting international pressure.

A convincing, passionate account that both educates and infuriates.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4165-3246-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2007

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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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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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