An unsympathetic exploration of Israel's expansionist movements, by Village Voice staff-writer Friedman (The False Prophet, 1990). The author builds his case against the West Bank settlement policy of the recently defeated Likud government and its supporters through the words, pro and con, he recorded in interviews with settlers, government officials, Peace Now land-for-peace proponents, Arab villagers, and US Zionists. Friedman offers a picture of unjust Jewish expropriation of Arab lands, and of terrorism carried out by Jewish fanatics, while Arab actions such as the Intifada are seen as natural reactions to Jewish aggression. His chief villain is the Kach party of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, which pushes for a nation that's free of Arabs and that includes all of biblical Israel within its borders. Another villain is Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who is associated with Makhteret, which Friedman describes as a terrorist group responsible for attacks on Arab mayors supporting the PLO and for planning the demolition of the Dome of the Rock mosque, Islam's third holiest site. Also drawing Friedman's fire is the Ateret Cohanim, an ultrareligious group that aspires to turn all of Jerusalem into a Jewish city. And, of course, there is the Gush Emunim, which insists on the right of Jews to settle anywhere in Judea and Samaria (i.e., the Occupied Territories). If there is one group of West Bank settlers with whom Friedman sympathizes, it's the educated ÇmigrÇs from the US who have come to Israel with the aim of adding meaning to their lives while at the same time strengthening Israel's borders: ``It is difficult,'' Friedman says of them, ``to write about people whose politics one abhors yet who in other respects are fundamentally decent.'' Friedman's sympathies and hopes clearly lie with the aims associated with the Peace Now movement. But considering the depth of feeling on all sides exposed by his research, one wonders how peace will ever reign in Israel.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 1992

ISBN: 0-394-58053-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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



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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