DAY OF DECEIT

THE TRUTH ABOUT FDR AND PEARL HARBOR

An explosive, well-written look at the events leading up to the Japanese raid on Pearl harbor, including FDR’s provocation of the attack, by a WWII veteran and longtime journalist. Though rumors have long circulated about American prior knowledge of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Stinnett has gone far beyond his models in substantiating the state of American intelligence, diplomacy, and readiness in the year preceding December 7, 1941. Though Stinnett easily makes his case that the Unites States knew an attack was coming and did not prepare for it, even more shocking is his discovery that the North Pacific area, where an attack was believed likely to originate, was declared a “vacant sea” just weeks prior to the attack and any patrols were forbidden in this area. The real heart of the book is the argument that the attack on Pearl Harbor was deliberately instigated by the Roosevelt Administration as a way of quickly bringing a unified America into the war. Stinnett begins his case by quoting a policy memo written by Lt. Cdr. Arthur McCullum listing eight actions designed to incite a military action by Japan, including such actions as the blocking of the sale of oil to the Japanese, maintaining a heavy US naval presence in the Pacific, and supporting Chiang Kai-shek in China. After showing how this plan was carried out, he then goes on to show how this effort systematically led up to Pearl Harbor. Although too little is made of the context in which Roosevelt apparently made the decision to allow the attack to go unchecked (it is only in the closing sections that this issue is even discussed), Stinnett has left no stone unturned in this account, which should rewrite the historical record of WWII.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-684-85339-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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