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JOURNEY THROUGH THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR

A valuable, intimate narrative of war.

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An English translation of a Polish journalist’s firsthand experiences covering the Spanish Civil War.

Green has translated Polish journalist S.L. Shneiderman’s 1938 book Krig in Shpanyen(War in Spain), adding an introduction that outlines the origins of the conflict between the forces of the Republican government and the Fascist insurrectionists led by Francisco Franco. Shneiderman arrived in Spain in 1936 to cover the conflict for the Yiddish press, cognizant of the interest of his Jewish readership in the outcome of the war and in the fate of the thousands of Jews who had come to Spain to join the fight. Attending both a tribunal and a bullfight in Barcelona, Shneiderman describes a city caught between vibrant normalcy and incessant violence. In Valencia, Shneiderman experiences the terror of imminent bombardment when sirens alert him to seek shelter in a crowded cellar. Throughout his travels, Shneiderman contrasts the beauty of the Spanish countryside with the horrors of war, crafting evocative descriptions of ordinary people transformed into soldiers: “Young people and armed men and women rushed past me, the women in khaki trousers paired with green linen blouses. Red-painted lips, perfectly groomed eyebrows, and over-the-shoulder short-barreled rifles completed the women’s ensembles.” Shneiderman highlights stories of Jewish men and women who left their native lands and former occupations to command troops and challenge Fascist pilots in aerial dogfights, and he movingly recounts the letters forwarded to him from Jewish families imploring him to discover the fates of relatives who came to Spain to fight. Throughout his narrative, Shneiderman presciently anticipates the looming threat of Hitler’s Germany and the stakes of the Spanish war for Jewish people throughout Europe. Although Shneiderman largely eschews expressing his own political opinions, his compassionate observations speak for him: “A teacher from Tortosa told me he sent his pregnant wife to Majorca in early July to rest. He hasn’t heard from her since the insurrection—he is now either a father or a widower. He doesn’t know which.” The result is a powerful record of courage, brutality, and suffering.

A valuable, intimate narrative of war.

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 9798989452453

Page Count: 139

Publisher: White Goat Press

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2024

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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A WEALTH OF PIGEONS

A CARTOON COLLECTION

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

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The veteran actor, comedian, and banjo player teams up with the acclaimed illustrator to create a unique book of cartoons that communicates their personalities.

Martin, also a prolific author, has always been intrigued by the cartoons strewn throughout the pages of the New Yorker. So when he was presented with the opportunity to work with Bliss, who has been a staff cartoonist at the magazine since 1997, he seized the moment. “The idea of a one-panel image with or without a caption mystified me,” he writes. “I felt like, yeah, sometimes I’m funny, but there are these other weird freaks who are actually funny.” Once the duo agreed to work together, they established their creative process, which consisted of working forward and backward: “Forwards was me conceiving of several cartoon images and captions, and Harry would select his favorites; backwards was Harry sending me sketched or fully drawn cartoons for dialogue or banners.” Sometimes, he writes, “the perfect joke occurs two seconds before deadline.” There are several cartoons depicting this method, including a humorous multipanel piece highlighting their first meeting called “They Meet,” in which Martin thinks to himself, “He’ll never be able to translate my delicate and finely honed droll notions.” In the next panel, Bliss thinks, “I’m sure he won’t understand that the comic art form is way more subtle than his blunt-force humor.” The team collaborated for a year and created 150 cartoons featuring an array of topics, “from dogs and cats to outer space and art museums.” A witty creation of a bovine family sitting down to a gourmet meal and one of Dumbo getting his comeuppance highlight the duo’s comedic talent. What also makes this project successful is the team’s keen understanding of human behavior as viewed through their unconventional comedic minds.

A virtuoso performance and an ode to an undervalued medium created by two talented artists.

Pub Date: Nov. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26289-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Celadon Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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