A stinging indictment of one-sided policymaking destined, if undisturbed, to result in even greater violence.

READ REVIEW

BROKERS OF DECEIT

HOW THE U.S. HAS UNDERMINED PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

Extracting three episodes from a complex 35-year history, a distinguished Middle East scholar exposes America’s unfitness to mediate between Israel and Palestine.

Khalidi (Modern Arab Studies/Columbia Univ.; Sowing Crisis: The Cold War and American Dominance in the Middle East, 2009, etc.) insists that the struggle over Palestine lies at the  core of the Arab/Israeli conflict, with resolution impossible as long as the U.S. continues to act, in the words of one observer, as “Israel’s lawyer.” America, he writes, has only posed as an honest broker, deceiving the public with corrupted rhetoric about “progress” and “the peace process.” All the while, U.S. policymaking—with only a few Cold War exceptions—has been consistently driven by domestic political considerations distorted by Israel’s muscular congressional lobby, the alliance with Saudi Arabia and the quiet compliance of the other Arab Gulf states, and a complete disregard for the welfare of the Palestinians. Making use of a number of previously classified documents, Khalidi isolates three clarifying moments that illustrate America’s bias: the torpedoing of the so-called 1982 Reagan Plan by Menachem Begin’s narrow construction of the Camp David Accords; the bilateral Madrid-Washington negotiations of 1991-1993, especially revelatory of the collusion between the U.S. and Israel; and the Obama administration’s predictable retreat from anything resembling a new policy toward Palestine. Unpacking these episodes in sharp, take-no-prisoners prose, Khalidi maintains that the U.S. and Isreal, “by far the most powerful actors in the Middle East,” through successive administrations and a variety of key officials (Condoleezza Rice and Dennis Ross take a particular beating here), have conspired to deny Palestinians any semblance of self-determination.

A stinging indictment of one-sided policymaking destined, if undisturbed, to result in even greater violence.

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0807044759

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Jan. 1, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more