A sobering, frightening account of what happens when that foul beast, racism, breaks its fragile leash. (16 pp. b&w...

THE BURNING

THE MASSACRE AND DESTRUCTION OF A PLACE CALLED GREENWOOD

A chilling re-creation of the worst instance of racial violence in US history—the 1921 destruction by rampaging whites of a black neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Journalist Madigan (See No Evil, not reviewed) believes the Tulsa riot deserves a more prominent place in the ugly history of racial conflict—and his diligent research and graceful writing will certainly help. He begins on June 1, 1921, with the memories of a little girl. Her mother woke her with a scream: “The white people are killing the colored folks!” And so they were. Before the day ended, the white mob burned 35 square blocks of Greenwood (virtually the entire community), murdered as many as 300 blacks (many did not escape their flaming homes), arrested hundreds more, and drove into the hills thousands of black citizens whose slow procession northward would in the 20th century become an all-too-common image. Two planes flew overhead, firing down into the black crowds. Many had fought back with every weapon at their disposal (dozens of whites died by gunshot, too), but they were outnumbered and out-gunned by whites who broke into hardware stores to steal firearms and ammunition. What had happened? Greenwood was a “model” community—a peaceful, prosperous (though entirely segregated) neighborhood whose residents for the most part worked for white employers. The author uses multiple points of view to capture the dimensions of the tragedy. It began when a young white woman, an elevator operator, falsely accused a young black man of assaulting her. Many whites resolved to lynch the man; many blacks resolved to prevent the lynching. Both groups were armed, and when they clashed outside the courthouse, the wheels of tragedy were set in motion. Madigan follows his riveting account of the violence with the sordid story of denial and cover-up that ensued.

A sobering, frightening account of what happens when that foul beast, racism, breaks its fragile leash. (16 pp. b&w photographs, not seen)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-312-27283-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2001

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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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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

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