A deep, nuanced and indignant indictment of the players who have made investigative journalism harder to conduct, even if...

STONEWALLED

MY FIGHT FOR TRUTH AGAINST THE FORCES OF OBSTRUCTION, INTIMIDATION, AND HARASSMENT IN OBAMA'S WASHINGTON

A respected investigative journalist perceived as having a political chip on her shoulder when she left CBS reveals a deeper story.

With more than 30 years in broadcast journalism, Attkisson has received five Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award for her work. She makes the claim that she was as doggedly the scourge of Republican administrations as Democratic ones. But with unrelenting coverage of the flubbed healthcare.gov rollout, Benghazi, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Operation Fast and Furious, the flawed gun-running operation, the author argues that the convergence of a thin-skinned Obama administration’s reaction to her work and “skittish,” liberal ideological news managers at CBS made the climate for her investigative work untenable. (She goes so far as to say that Evening News with Scott Pelley executive producer Pat Shevlin “sometimes had a difficult time grasping complex stories.”) Finding it increasingly difficult to get her segments aired as she conceived of them, Attkisson eventually negotiated a departure from the network—but not before a long, mysterious bout of sophisticated hacking of her computer occurred (the author intimates in the book that someone inside the federal government is responsible and her telling of the hacking makes for thrilling reading). The fact that Attkisson joined the staff of the Daily Signal, the news site funded by the Heritage Foundation, after leaving CBS may indicate she’s conservative by nature, but she doesn’t blindly repeat Republican talking points. Instead, she’s more concerned that politicians on both sides of the aisle often forget that they serve everyday citizens rather than the rich and powerful. “[The politicians] think they own your tax dollars,” she writes. “They think they own the information their agencies gather on the public’s behalf. They think they’re entitled to keep that information from the rest of us and…they’re bloody incensed that we want it.”

A deep, nuanced and indignant indictment of the players who have made investigative journalism harder to conduct, even if those actors are other journalists.

Pub Date: Nov. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-232284-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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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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