Best savored slowly: a skillful blend of natural history and political analysis, sure to incite controversy in conservation...

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TIGERS IN RED WEATHER

A QUEST TO SEE THE LAST WILD TIGERS

From award-winning poet and Darwin descendant Padel, a remarkable chronicle of a two-year trek across 11 countries to visit wild tigers and observe conservation programs.

Possibly 5,000 of the big cats remain in the wild. The author first journeyed to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, where she learned of man-eating (rare except where prey is nonexistent) and salt-water–drinking tigers. It will come as no surprise to readers to learn that, as Padel discovered in India, successful conservation programs are those that allow local populations to benefit from tiger tourism. In the northern region of Ranthambhore, for instance, villagers ceded land to a tiger reserve in exchange for new fields, a temple and a school. The author went next to Russia. Although the Amur River bounds the largest continuous habitat of wild tigers in the world, poaching and logging endanger populations there just as they do elsewhere. In China, the cradle of tiger evolution, no South China tigers have been seen by officials in 20 years. Padel continued south, to Laos and Vietnam, where she discovered even less protection and very small populations beset by corruption and a lack of interest in conservation as well as the usual dangers of poaching and logging. The author provides a plethora of facts and figures about the tigers’ plight, reminding us in luminous prose and by evoking the animals and the landscapes they inhabit why this wild world is worth saving: “The red trail shines with puddles, trunks are roan pillars against black velvet, rain is soft Morse on the canopy.” In her conclusion, Padel looks to India for hope. “It saved tigers once,” she writes. “Can’t it do it again?”

Best savored slowly: a skillful blend of natural history and political analysis, sure to incite controversy in conservation circles.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2006

ISBN: 0-8027-1544-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2006

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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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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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