The inspiring story of a courageous, dedicated and most unusual woman.

THINKING IN PICTURES

AND OTHER REPORTS FROM MY LIFE WITH AUTISM

An extraordinary view into the workings of an autistic mind. Grandin, a professor of animal behavior (Colorado State Univ.) and a world-renowned designer of livestock equipment, attributes her creativity, technical skills and understanding of animals to the autism that has set her apart from most of human society.

Unlike the rest of us, Grandin does not think in words. As she describes it, she has an ever-growing videotape library in her head, which she can manipulate like a computer program, retrieving images from memory, altering them, rotating them, combining them. So different is she that she has always felt like an outside observer, comparing herself to "an anthropologist on Mars'' (the phrase became the title of Oliver Sacks's recent book, in which he profiled Grandin; Sacks contributes a foreword to this volume). Lacking social intuition and bemused by the emotional range of others, she relies on logic and an elaborate set of rules to guide her behavior. While other humans may be a puzzlement, Grandin has a remarkable empathy for animals, especially cows (the original title for this book was A Cow's Eye View). It was her observation of cattle's reactions in squeeze chutes that led her to design a squeeze machine for herself that she uses daily to calm her anxieties. Besides revealing her own survival techniques, Grandin tries to explain the many subtypes of autism and the various drugs—antidepressants, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, etc.—that have been used to treat the disorder. Her flat, almost mechanical writing style makes these sections somewhat tedious, but the information in them will be of considerable interest to parents of autistic children. For the general reader, her revelations about herself- -growing up, meeting the right teachers, and finding the right career niche—and her insights into animals are what make this account so fascinating. Includes a resource list on autism.

The inspiring story of a courageous, dedicated and most unusual woman.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-385-47792-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1995

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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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