ISRAEL VERSUS JIBRIL

THE THIRTY-YEAR WAR AGAINST A MASTER TERRORIST

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...

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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

TOMBSTONE

THE EARP BROTHERS, DOC HOLLIDAY, AND THE VENDETTA RIDE FROM HELL

Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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