to be resolved. (30 b&w maps and photos)



Readable, introductory survey of the popular Irish personalities whose ideals, rhetoric, and stubborn courage culminated in

the 1999 Peace Accords. Although he's an American, Golway (Irish Rebel: John Devoy and America's Fight for Irish Freedom, 1998) lets enough indignation, anguish, and sly humor slip into his cavalcade of Irish heroes to reveal pretty clearly where his sympathies lie. Of course, it's difficult for any fair-minded person not to be sympathetic (if not depressed) when faced with a history of the Irish people—whose ordinary human urges to be safe, secure, and well-fed (or merely left alone) have been thwarted by so many centuries of religious strife, British exploitation, regional enslavement, bad government, treachery, famine, and a climate more suited to frogs than people. Golway finds nobility in so much strife as he celebrates the heroic achievements of Irish men and women of all classes, religions, and political sympathies, whose only common trait was a belief that their nation deserved better than the status quo. Beginning with Brian Boru, who gathered the island's squabbling clans and routed the Vikings in 1014, Golway jumps to Hugh O'Neill, the 16th-century Irish earl who rebelled against Elizabeth I's persecution of Catholics. Famous writers such as Jonathan Swift and W.B. Yeats take their bows as nationalist and anti-British brotherhoods spring up in the countryside, led by the likes of Michael Collins and Gerry Adams. Though Golway isn't afraid to point out occasions in which the Irish were their own worst enemy, he blames almost all of Ireland's problems on the British. He concludes that its statehood would not have occurred without the financial and political support of Irish-Americans. History is far more than the deeds of heroes, but by defining Ireland's past in terms of its salient personalities, Golway reveals how the violent, factionalized Irish would rather see themselves: as willing participants in a heroic struggle that has yet

to be resolved. (30 b&w maps and photos)

Pub Date: March 3, 2000

ISBN: 0-684-85556-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 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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