OUT OF BOUNDS

HOW THE AMERICAN SPORTS ESTABLISHMENT IS BEING DRIVEN BY GREED AND HYPOCRISY--AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT IT.

An informed and evenhanded critique of the ``creeping professionalism'' that imperils American sport; by an activist observer with impeccable credentials. Congressman McMillen (Dem., Md.) draws on his own experiences as an all-American basketball player, Rhodes Scholar, Olympian (at the 1972 Games), and 11-year journeyman in the NBA to make a persuasive case against the status quo in domestic athletics. An equal-opportunity faultfinder, he rails against zealous parents who push their kids into Little Leagues as well as against universities more concerned with gate receipts than with academic excellence. Also targeted are importunate recruiters who lure high-school talent with dreams of college glory and pro careers, and the NCAA, which, McMillen says, all too often casts a blind eye on open scandals and tolerates ``shamateurism'' in the interests of megabuck TV deals. The author also examines the national preoccupation with a handful of spectator sports (which levies a toll on physical-fitness programs that could benefit millions of less competitive youngsters); the general neglect of women's sports; and the less-than-generous funding of America's Olympic athletes. Many of McMillen's proposals for curbing the commercially exploitative excesses of a demonstrably corrupt sports establishment are incorporated in a bill he introduced in Congress last July. Here, he suggests grass-roots reforms—from encouraging families to exercise together through integrating student-athletes into the educational as well as social milieus of their universities and creating pathways other than college for young athletes to turn pro. An insider's stinging yet engaging indictment of the entertainment/sport complex, leavened by a sense of perspective— and optimism. (Twelve b&w photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: May 8, 1992

ISBN: 0-671-70776-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1992

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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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