A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.



An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management.

“Until recently,” writes lawyer and activist Siegel, “nearly all of Israel's overseas water projects took place in economically distressed or underdeveloped locations.” Now, however, its “global water footprint [has grown] to include “providing water solutions in wealthy countries and communities,” including California. “Israeli innovations touch almost every part of the water profile,” writes the author, and they include drip irrigation, desalination, water purification, and recycled sewage. Since its formation in 1948, Israel has sustained a tenfold increase in population despite the fact that 60 percent of its territory is desert and the rest semiarid. In order to cultivate sufficient food, the first step was to transport fresh water to farms for irrigation. Traditional methods, such as channeling water through fields (flood irrigation) or even spraying crops directly, were too wasteful. To address these challenges, Israeli water engineer Simcha Blass developed a water-delivery system that dripped precisely the needed amount to the roots of plants despite variations in the terrain, water pressure, and weather. But it took until the 1960s to find a collective farm willing to manufacture the equipment and test the process. The next step involved the development of a fine-grained filtration membrane, created using nanotechnology, to filter impurities from brackish water collected in aquifers. This allowed the recovery of water trapped beneath the sands and ultimately to successful desalination of seawater. The ability to purify and recycle sewage followed. Only in the first years of the new century—buttressed by a national commitment to conservation—has Israel achieved abundance. The author concludes this fascinating account with the contention that the Israeli experience provides a model for dealing with the global challenge of climate change.

A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.    

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-07395-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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



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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