the truth. (2 maps, 44 b&w photos, not seen)



Two veteran investigative reporters (Dragon Lady, 1992, etc.) assail several generations of Japan’s first family with the

deadliest weapons of all: research and keen analysis. This is not a pleasant tale. Beginning their story with the first postwar meeting between General MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito on September 27, 1945, the Seagraves quickly establish a rather startling conclusion: "Money—not Shinto—is the state religion of Japan," where the various financial powers "milk [the country] like a cash cow." The picture grows only darker as the Seagraves shine their lights more brightly. They tell of unimaginable wealth and privilege (Yoshihito, who came to power in 1912, was the "first crown prince ever taught to dress himself"), about internecine struggles to pick the spouse of the emperor, about shadowy, enormously powerful figures in the background—bankers, industrialists—who manipulate both the imperial family and international events with the venal intent of enriching themselves and securing Japan’s prominence. Most alarming for American readers are the chapters dealing with WWII. The Seagraves cite "emerging" evidence that in 1941 both US and British officials knew in advance of the imminent attack at Pearl Harbor and did nothing: the desperate British needed US intervention, and the Roosevelt administration needed to mobilize prowar public opinion. The Seagraves describe the massive, desperate efforts of "Golden Lily," code name for the clandestine (and largely effective) Japanese operation to hide from Allied officials the billions of dollars of gold and other treasures the Japanese had plundered in the early years of the war—on a scale that has "never been seen before in human history." In addition, the Seagraves describe the reprehensible (and successful) efforts of MacArthur and other American officials to ensure that no member of the imperial family ever appeared before any war-crimes tribunal. A deeply disturbing chronicle of pervasive corruption and greed—of unspeakable violence visited upon people, values, and

the truth. (2 maps, 44 b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7679-0496-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Broadway

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2000

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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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