A fascinating and thrilling real-life adventure story.

This hybrid of narrative nonfiction and graphic novel dramatically chronicles the true story of four men and two kittens who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Canada to England in 1956.

Henri Beaudout, a veteran of the French Resistance and the French army, left postwar France to settle in Canada. Haunted by his wartime experiences, Henri felt restless and adrift. When he read a story about an indigenous man from the Americas found in his canoe on a beach in Portugal long before Europeans traversed the Atlantic, Henri became obsessed with the idea of sailing across the North Atlantic by the power of winds and currents alone. Henri recruited a crew of fellow French expatriates through a newspaper ad and built a raft christened L’Égaré (The Lost One), but their first attempt was unsuccessful. Undaunted, Beaudout constructed and outfitted the L’Égaré II on a $5,000 budget. With two kittens aboard as mascots, the raft left Halifax on May 24, 1956, and, carried by the Gulf Stream, the crew and feline companions arrived safely in Falmouth, England, 88 days later. Barnett vividly recounts the frequently harrowing adventure filled with ferocious storms, several near-fatal encounters with vessels in shipping lanes, and a threatening shark. Bondarenko’s graphic interludes visually dramatize these moments.

A fascinating and thrilling real-life adventure story. (maps, photos, further reading) (Graphic/nonfiction hybrid. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77085-978-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017



Peukert, who died in 1990 at age 39, also wrote Inside Nazi Germany: Conformity, Opposition and Racism in Everyday Life. This new book is not quite everyday life under the Weimar Republic, but it does shift the emphasis from the doings of a few old men—the military elite who handed the country over to Hitler—to the prevailing anguish among all classes of Germans during the 12 years the Republic survived. Peukert sums up this anguish as ``the crisis of classical modernity.'' He notes that, since 1870, Germany had already been subjected to an accelerated process of modernization: industrialization, urbanization, bureaucratization, rationalization of daily life. Dislocations that were mild and bearable under the prosperous empire became killers in the Weimar years, after military defeat and with two horrendous economic crises in ten years. Weimar, in short, was not something completely new in German history. It was more of the same under impossible conditions. Peukert offers new angles on the period, all designed to show that it wasn't some fatal flaw in the German character that produced Hitler, but a series of complex problems all striking at once. Demographics, for example: A baby boom in 1900-10 flooded the job market just at the start of the Depression, and the Nazis recruited heavily among these young unemployed. Peukert also points out surprising continuities between Weimar and what followed. Laws against abortion and homosexuality never came off the books in those supposedly freewheeling years. Women who were married weren't supposed to work, were even fired from civil-service jobs. Nazi race madness was anticipated by a concern for eugenics by both the right and the left, going back decades. Writing to amplify and correct other historians, Peukert is dense, allusive, and sometimes crabbed. This is definitely not Weimar for beginners, and perhaps is best read as part of Germany's process of VergangenheitsbewÑltigung—coming to terms with the past. Or as a warning of how long stretches of hard times can bring out the worst in people.

Pub Date: May 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-8090-9674-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992




Two history professors (Shea: Univ. of Arkansas at Monticello; Hess: Lincoln Memorial Univ.) offer an absorbing analysis of an important early conflict in the Civil War. Though often regarded as having only peripheral strategic importance, the battle of Pea Ridge (Arkansas), the authors explain, led to Union control of Missouri and dominance of the entire trans-Mississippi region. In early 1962, a large Confederate army, assisted by a pro-Confederate governor and a secessionist state guard, posed a serious threat to Missouri's membership in the Union. As the pro-Confederate state-guard commander began an apparent retreat to obtain supplies and support from the regular Confederate army, Union forces under Samuel Curtis (who in turn was commanded by Henry W. Halleck) launched an aggressive offensive drive. Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Earl Van Dorn, a dashing but untalented general, as overall Confederate commander—but though Van Dorn attempted to gain the initiative, what should have been a major Confederate threat to Missouri turned instead into a Federal invasion of Arkansas when Curtis's men- -marching lightly and far from Union supply lines—attacked rather than fall back into Missouri. During the fighting at Pea Ridge (March 6-8, 1862)—which was really more a strategically unified series of separate battles than a single engagement—Curtis kept the Confederate forces separated and ultimately drove them from the field. And by the authors' account, Halleck—who is not often treated kindly by historians—emerges as the unlikely hero who conceived the vigorous Federal strategy. After the battle, Van Dorn transferred his army to the eastern side of the Mississippi, allowing the Union to contain Confederate forces there. Shea and Hess rightly contend that this early Union victory, won ``in the springtime of northern hopes,'' secured Federal domination of the Mississippi region. A thoroughly researched and well-told account of an important but often neglected Civil War encounter. (Eighteen maps.)

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-8078-2042-3

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Univ. of North Carolina

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1992

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