Another extraordinary story of how the bravery of one individual halted the tide of evil.




Suspenseful, cat-and-mouse account of one Vatican priest who resisted the Gestapo’s terror policies.

While Pope Pius XII was wringing his hands about Allied bombing of Rome and essentially keeping quiet while the Gestapo deported the Jews and massacred the inhabitants, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, an Irish priest and official of the Holy Office, had accidentally begun to organize an Allied escape operation by the summer of 1943. As told in this non-scholarly account by BBC journalist Walker (Forgotten Soldiers: The Irishmen Shot at Dawn, 2007), O’Flaherty had no love for the English, having been politicized by British violence against the Irish back in the 1920s while he was in apostolic college in Limerick. However, during World War II he gradually changed his mind. Thanks to O’Flaherty’s network, which offered money, false ID papers and safe houses, a trickling of British soldiers had managed to seek refuge at the Vatican, and soon others found aid during the nine months of Nazi occupation. Meanwhile, the head of Rome’s intelligence agency was the ruthless, ambitious Nazi Herbert Kappler, who organized the Fascist police force and infiltrated espionage operations in Rome. Protected by Vatican neutrality, O’Flaherty operated under the nose of the Gestapo and barely missed being kidnapped and assassinated. Following orders, Kappler was responsible for rounding up 1,000 Roman Jews for deportation to Auschwitz, as well as the cold-blooded massacre of 325 prisoners in the Ardeatine Caves in 1944. While O’Flaherty was celebrated after the war, Kappler was tried and imprisoned for life.

Another extraordinary story of how the bravery of one individual halted the tide of evil.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7627-8039-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Lyons Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 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...


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 clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

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A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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