A powerful story of determination and strong faith that brought a child out of the wreckage of war.

WHAT THEY MEANT FOR EVIL

HOW A LOST GIRL OF SUDAN FOUND HEALING, PEACE, AND PURPOSE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

A memoir from one of the Lost Girls of Sudan.

Deng was born in South Sudan, and the first few years of her life were relatively peaceful. She enjoyed her grandmother’s cooking, the ghee she made from the cows they owned, and the lush vegetation that grew around her village. When she was 6, the civil war that had been raging in other parts of the country arrived at her doorstep, and Deng became a refugee of the Bor Massacre of 1991. Her village was destroyed, and she fled on foot with other family members to safety. She spent the next few years living in refugee camps, eating tasteless maize paste donated by the U.N. It was difficult to find joy under these circumstances, but Deng’s strong Christian faith and community of churchgoers she prayed with helped her through her struggles. She also was able to attend school in the refugee camp, an act that ultimately led her on a path to the United States, where she was adopted in 2000 by a family living in Michigan. In this chronicle of her early childhood and subsequent years as an immigrant in the U.S., Deng shares, in mostly straightforward prose, the significant moments that changed her life. Not only did she suffer deprivation and hardship as a young child in the refugee camps; she also faced prejudice as an immigrant, struggling to maintain her Dinka heritage while assimilating to her new culture. Her difficult journey to adulthood and calling as an advocate for other victims of war makes for difficult, sometimes violent reading, but her story is important. In particular, Deng exposes the devastation of war on the innocent, especially women and children, who often bear the brunt of the brutality.

A powerful story of determination and strong faith that brought a child out of the wreckage of war.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5460-1722-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: FaithWords

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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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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