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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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