Miklosik, a retired anesthesiologist, self-confessed “curmudgeon” and proud contrarian, claims that being born in Canada to...

THE LIE THAT IS LINCOLN

An armchair historian challenges commonly held views about the American Civil War in a series of incendiary essays.

Miklosik, a retired anesthesiologist, self-confessed “curmudgeon” and proud contrarian, claims that being born in Canada to Slovak immigrants makes him an “impartial observer” to what he sees as the “kiss-ass” canonization of “Saint Abraham Lincoln.” He admits the man spoke well but places him alongside Genghis Khan and Pol Pot in the pantheon of the “world’s cruelest dictators.” He quotes Thomas Paine and John Locke and wonders if Lincoln ever read their work. To Miklosik, “it is mind-boggling” that more than a million “civilized, advanced young men” were sacrificed “just to free from bondage 4,000,000 illiterate, backward savages” because our sixteenth president lacked “patience.” Miklosik considers slavery an “odious industry” but justifies its history by quoting the Old Testament, where “at worst,” it was seen as an “event of minor reprehensibility.” God clearly proscribed, “Thou shall not kill,” but he said nothing about owning slaves. Miklosik claims abolitionists (under the sway of hypocritical Quakers) elevated it into an “abomination”—and an excuse for Northern aggression. To this, the author adds the usual arguments concerning states’ rights, misguided government and the corruption of absolute power. He portrays the South as “agrarian, aristocratic” and the North as “capitalistic, industrial.” This tendency to generalize upends many of the author’s arguments. While he bemoans the bias of “sycophantic” historians, his “jaundiced and cynical views of history” force him into his own dogmatic corner. It might be easy to dismiss a writer who thinks Uncle Tom’s Cabin beats any “propaganda” Goebbels created for Hitler. But no one will deny the man his passion. What the author calls “iconoclastic,” many readers might find over-the-top and offensive.

Pub Date: May 9, 2012

ISBN: 978-1469156415

Page Count: 302

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2012

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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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A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

MY TRAVELS WITH MRS. KENNEDY

A follow-up to the bestselling Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

Teaming up again with his co-author (now wife) on previous books, Hill, a distinguished former Secret Service agent, remembers his days traveling the world as Jacqueline Kennedy’s trusted bodyguard. After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Hill received a medal for valor in protecting the president and his wife, Jackie, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets. Later, the medal vanished along with photos of the author's travels with Mrs. Kennedy as a Secret Service bodyguard. Hill recounts how his search for an old award he never wanted yielded an even greater treasure: forgotten images of his globe-trotting adventures with the first lady. The photographs—some in color, some in black and white—immediately transported the bewitched author back to the glittering heyday of Camelot. Images of Jackie in Paris brought memories of the president’s first major state excursion to France, in 1961, where the otherwise very private first lady was “the center of all attention.” Numerous other diplomatic trips followed—to England, Greece, India, Pakistan, and across South America. Everything Jackie did, from visiting ruined temples to having lunch with Queen Elizabeth, was headline news. Hill dutifully protected her from gawkers and paparazzi not only on public occasions, but also more private ones such as family retreats to the Amalfi Coast and the Kennedys’ country home in Middleburg, Virginia. In three short years, the never-romantic bond between the two deepened to a place “beyond friendship” in which “we could communicate with each other with a look or a nod….She knew that I would do whatever she asked—whether it was part of my job as a Secret Service agent or not.” Replete with unseen private photos and anecdotes of a singular relationship, the book will appeal mostly to American historians but also anyone interested in the private world inhabited by one of the most beguiling but enigmatic first ladies in American history.

A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982181-11-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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