Daniels emerges as a force to be reckoned with—and not someone to cross. Of interest to politics junkies but with plenty of...

FULL DISCLOSURE

A lively, candid memoir from person-in-the-news Daniels.

The author is a household name for just one reason, as she allows—adding, though, that “my life is a lot more interesting than an encounter with Donald Trump.” So it is, and not without considerable effort on her part. Daniels—not her real name, but one, she points out, that she owns, unlike the majority of porn stars—grew up on the wrong side of town, the product of a broken home with few prospects, but she is just as clearly a person of real intelligence and considerable business know-how. Those attributes were not the reason that Trump called her on a fateful night more than a decade ago, but she put them to work, so much so that in some preliminary conversation, he proclaimed—by her account, his talk is blustery and insistent—that “our businesses are kind of a lot alike, but different.” The talk led to what “may have been the least impressive sex I’d ever had, but clearly, he didn’t share that opinion.” The details are deeply unpleasant, but Daniels adds nuance to the record: She doesn’t find it creepy that Trump likened her to his daughter, and she reckons that as a reality show host, he had a few points in his favor even if he failed to deliver on a promise to get her on The Apprentice. The author’s 15 minutes arrived a dozen years later, when she was exposed as the recipient of campaign hush money. Her account of succeeding events is fast-paced and full of sharp asides pointing to the general sleaziness of most of the players and the ugliness of politics, especially the Trumpian kind, which makes the porn industry look squeaky-clean by comparison.

Daniels emerges as a force to be reckoned with—and not someone to cross. Of interest to politics junkies but with plenty of lessons on taking charge of one’s own life.

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-20556-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2018

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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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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