An arresting account of Ahmed Jibril, the technoterrorist mastermind whose exploits include the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. Israeli-American military historian Katz (Days of Fire, 1968) details Jibril's past and present terrorist operations as head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command. Presented by the author as a lethal threat to the democratic world, Jibril emerges as an egotistic, mad genius of mayhem who pulled off a series of brazen skyjackings, kidnappings, and assassinations in several countries without risking more than a few expendable henchmen. His daring hang-glider attack on an Israeli army base is credited with having jump-started the Intifada. But his cause, as well as that of the Palestinians, is tarnished in Katz's view by all the big bucks earned and by the indiscriminate murder committed in the name of liberation politics. Moreover, the armed Palestinian factions—particularly Jibril's—are seen engaged in fratricidal combat more fierce than their confrontations with outside enemies. Apart from the Palestinians exploited for the larger cause, Katz depicts various naive European women who were wooed by Arab men for the sole purpose of serving as conduits for explosives. A chronology of terrorists attacks, a rundown of armed Palestinian groups, and a listing of Israel's counterterrorist units append this fast-paced record of Jibril's exploits and his uncanny ability to stay a step ahead of the world's intelligence community. As exciting as a good thriller—but far more frightening.

Pub Date: May 24, 1993

ISBN: 1-55778-433-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1993

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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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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