The best-selling author of Without Remorse (1993) and the nonfiction Submarine (1993) examines the past, present, and future of America’s largest warships. Clancy offers an insider’s look at the key capital ship in the American naval forces, the aircraft carrier, and the various “systems” (that’s Clancy-speak for weapons, especially aircraft and missles) aboard them. Clancy offers an alphabet soup of military acronyms but overall manages to give a thorough look at exactly what the role of the carrier is in a navy that no longer faces a major blue-water threat, as it did when the carrier was developed to take on the Japanese and then the Soviets. Clancy focuses on the new role of the carrier as an offensive platform to launch strikes, as it did in the Gulf war and continues to do in Bosnia. Clancy, always the consumate navy booster, looks at the manner in which the hugely expensive carriers have been negelected during times of peace, only to be returned to their place of importance when international events heated up. Lumped in with the carrier is a history of the development and mission of naval aviation, which makes for far more fascinating reading than the history of their floating airfields. Clancy’s conversations with naval personal, especially the chief of naval operations, Admiral Jay Johnson, are wooden, as if they were conducted by fax rather than in person. The concluding chapter, in which Clancy casts his imagination forward 20 years to the role US carriers might play in a nuclear conflict between India and Afghanistan, is worth the price of admission; though too brief, for drama it ranks with the scenarios he creates in his novels. Clancy’s loyal followers, especially those in the military, are sure to love this rich look at our nation’s most expensive floating hardware, but they will need to cut through Clancy’s sabre-rattling along the way.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-425-16682-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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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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For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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