Only the most dedicated Ginsburg fans, and there are many, will devour everything here, but most readers will find items of...

MY OWN WORDS

From the second woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, a collection of writings ranging from the slight to the serious.

Now 83, women’s rights icon Ginsburg nears the close of her distinguished career as a law professor, appellate advocate, judge, and justice, arguably having done more to move our law in the direction of gender equality than any living person. Now, as two Georgetown Law professors, Hartnett and Williams (emerita) prepare her official biography, they have collected Ginsburg’s speeches, lectures, articles, and opinions, some on offer here. They preface most of this material with explanatory, wholly complimentary notes and begin with a chapter of juvenilia, demonstrating Ginsburg’s early interest in human rights and in preserving individual liberties. Passages devoted to “the lighter side” of life at the Supreme Court include, for example, Ginsburg’s musings on lawyers depicted in opera, not least her own “starring” role in Scalia/Ginsburg. There follows a section on “waypavers” and “pathmarkers,” Ginsburg’s tributes to, among others, Belva Lockwood, the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court Bar, Gloria Steinem, “the face of feminism,” and Sandra Day O’Connor, the court’s first woman justice. Especially good are the author’s observations on the court’s “Jewish seat” and her charming lecture on four notable Supreme Court wives. These, and many other agreeable selections, are characterized as “remarks,” delivered and often recycled for various audiences. The collection also contains numerous bench announcements, summaries of some of Ginsburg’s most consequential opinions and dissents, and a few revealing essays that offer keys to her jurisprudence: for example, her perspective on the role of dissents, the value of consulting foreign law, and the wisdom of “measured motions” by the judiciary, wherein she mildly criticizes Roe v. Wade for provoking a backlash and halting “a political process that was moving in a reform direction.”

Only the most dedicated Ginsburg fans, and there are many, will devour everything here, but most readers will find items of interest from this icon of women’s rights.

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-4524-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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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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