Though the author admits to some dark memories that she chooses not to share—“some memories I’ve definitely tried to...

THE NIGHTINGALE OF MOSUL

A NURSE’S JOURNEY OF SERVICE, STRUGGLE, AND WAR

The inspiring, page-turning story of Col. Luz, a 25-year member of the Army Reserves who in 2007 was awarded a Bronze Star for her service in Iraq.

The author teams with Brotherton (We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from the Band of Brothers, 2009, etc.) to create an engrossing account of her adventurous life. In 2006, her unit was called to active duty in a combat zone. Even though she was 56 at the time, she was undaunted by the rigors of basic training. A nurse with dual specialties—public health and psychiatry—she would be caring for the wounded and establishing community health services for soldiers and Iraqi civilians. As a young woman out of college during the Vietnam War, Luz planned to become an Army nurse. However, because her father—George Luz Sr., of Band of Brothers fame—feared for her safety, she joined the Peace Corps instead. Stationed in a small Brazilian town, she enjoyed her work among the poor, until she was brutally raped and beaten. After a painful period of recovery, she finished her tour of duty, earned a graduate nursing degree and returned to Brazil to work for Project HOPE, this time in a large city. Upon arriving in the United States, she became a school nurse and worked in an inner-city school that resembled a combat zone (“changing dressings on gunshot wounds got to be routine after a while”). Because three of her nephews suffered from cystic fibrosis, she took on a second job, in a psychiatric prison hospital, to help pay their medical bills. Luz offers many fascinating stories about her often hair-raising experiences at home and abroad, and her devotion to public service is admirable and impressive.

Though the author admits to some dark memories that she chooses not to share—“some memories I’ve definitely tried to forget…this is not a ‘tell-all’ book by any means, but a slice of my life as it relates to the greater theme of service”—their omission does nothing to detract from the importance of her story.

Pub Date: May 4, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-60714-631-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Kaplan Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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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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