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PRISONERS WITHOUT TRIAL

JAPANESE AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR II

More proof that good things can come in small packages, this volume—along with two others—kicks off the publisher's ``Critical Issues'' series (consulting editor: Eric Foner), in which experts tackle historical issues whose consequences reverberate today. Not only do the authors of the first three volumes offer cogent overviews of their respective issues, but each is willing to climb out on a critical limb. Daniels (Concentration Camp USA, 1972), for instance, writing about the incarceration of Japanese-Americans during WW II, states that ``this book has tried to explain how and why the outrage happened. That is the role of the historian and his book, which is to analyze the past. But this historian feels that analyzing the past is not always enough''—and so he takes on the question of ``could it happen again?'' and concludes that there's ``an American propensity to react against `foreigners' in the United States during times of external crisis, especially when those `foreigners' have dark skins,'' and that Japanese-Americans, at least, ``would argue that what has happened before can surely happen again.'' Similarly, Kirkpatrick Sale—in The Green Revolution (ISBN: 0-8090-5218-0; paper: 0-8090-1551-X)—summarizes the modern history of American environmentalism (which he sees as dating from the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring) and indicts ``a chemical industry that has subsequently produced some 30,000 chemicals of varying degrees of toxicity''), while Anthony F.C. Wallace—in The Long, Bitter Trail (ISBN: 0-8090-6631-9; paper: 0-8090-1552-8)—studies the legacy of Andrew Jackson's cruel Indian policies and declares that ``two hundred years of national indecision about how the United States should deal with its Native Americans have not come to an end.'' A promising beginning, then, to what looks like a very fine series with a cutting edge; future volumes will include Marvin Frankel on Church & State, Michael Hunt on How We Became Involved in Vietnam, and Betty Wood on Origins of Slavery in the United States.

Pub Date: July 12, 1993

ISBN: 0-8090-7897-X

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1993

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

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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