An easygoing account of the outlaw duo whose era separated Frank and Jesse James from Bonnie and Clyde.

THE LAST OUTLAWS

THE LIVES AND LEGENDS OF BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

In this dual biography of celebrated bandits, a specialist in the Old West deftly separates fact from fiction.

The nature of their business required Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Longabaugh to adopt many aliases, but they were best known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Raised in religious families, both men were well-read, both did a prison stretch for horse stealing, and both had a taste for the traditional cowboy pleasures of drinking, gambling and whoring. The handsome, quick-tempered, aloof Sundance was famous for his lightning draw. The gregarious, shrewd Butch was a natural-born leader, known for his meticulous execution of heists, paying special attention to the getaway plan. Together, from rough hideouts like Wyoming’s Hole-in-the-Wall and Utah’s Robbers’ Roost, they bossed the notorious Wild Bunch, a loose confederation of ruffians and desperados that included the likes of “Kid Curry” and “News” Carver. Butch and Sundance made periodic attempts to go straight, but they always returned to their robbing ways, finally fleeing to Bolivia where the cavalry caught up with them in 1908. Though he supplies plenty of information, Hatch (Osceola and the Great Seminole War, 2012, etc.) earns huge credibility by frankly admitting that much remains unknown about these legendary outlaws, including the mysterious origins and disappearance of Sundance’s beguiling paramour, Etta Place, and the precise circumstances of their deaths. He underscores his theme of Butch and Sundance as the last of a breed, reminding us that by the turn of the century, outlaws no longer faced capture merely by random individuals, but rather by an “organized system,” whereby detective agencies, Pinkerton and Wells Fargo, armed with money and resources, could coordinate with all levels of law enforcement to hunt down criminals.

An easygoing account of the outlaw duo whose era separated Frank and Jesse James from Bonnie and Clyde.

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-451-23919-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: NAL/Berkley

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more