Abundantly useful for aspiring scholars, while those with a casual interest in the subject will be struck by its surprising...

THE WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

Primary documents provide insight into the struggles within the women's suffrage movement in the United States up until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Historian Wagner (Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influences on Early American Feminists, 2001, etc.) opens with a chapter about the key role of women in the Iroquois Confederacy in upstate New York before the United States became a nation. “Unlike almost every other historian,” writes Gloria Steinem in the foreword, “[Wagner] doesn’t treat this country as if it began with Columbus.” Wagner then moves on to discuss the development of the women's suffrage movement in the decades before the first national women's rights convention in 1850. Covering the years from the 1850s to 1920, the editor devotes a chapter to the events of each decade. An introduction to each chapter provides a generous amount of historical context, which brings the implications of the primary documents—some of which are included in full and others of which are excerpted—into focus. These documents include speeches at women's rights conventions and to the general public, and they reveal the striking tensions between various factions of the movement as well as their commonalities. Wagner broadens her subject to include not just discussions of women's suffrage, but also birth control, “free love,” divorce, and women's economic and social rights. The structure of the volume makes clear the protracted nature of the struggle and how many now-little-known individuals were involved in it in addition to famous figures like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Wagner never hesitates to point out the flaws in her subjects and the movement, notable among which is the fact that the “suffragists,” as they called themselves, were often casually or even intentionally racist, arguing that educated white women were more deserving of political power than ex-slaves.

Abundantly useful for aspiring scholars, while those with a casual interest in the subject will be struck by its surprising complexity.

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313243-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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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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