THE ELECTRIC KOOL-AID ACID TEST

Promethean prose poet Wolfe. . . One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and never-ever-never-would-come-could-come down Ken Kesey. . . . A head combination if there ever was one. Kesey was "The Chief," pre-Haight, pre-Hippy, the floating plastic fantastic West Coast apostle of the impossible who so ordained that LSD was the KEY!!! and put together a band of Merry Pranksters whose name became synonymous with the freak-out of all life-styles. This is the story of how Kesey almost became God and wow-why-not-he-was-was-into-every-thing with Mountain Girl and Gretchen Fetchen the Slime Queen and the Hermit and Black Maria and Ned Cassady (who first appeared On the Road and won't Kerouac get the jealous bends over this trip) and Freewheeling Frank (Yes!. . . he's the one on the Grove list) and Owsley (mad and paranoid manufacturer of the sacrament) and just all those near and now famous. And didn't he create the psychedelic bus with sound and strobe and just vats of Day-Glo and blow those work-a-daddy minds all the way across country with the pranksters zonked on acid and speed and tokes and all the while makin' this spontaneous here and Now movie for miles and miles. . . and didn't he invite the HeWs Angels to a party that had the cops and community up-tight all right. . . and didn't he start the Acid tests and bonk out all the straights on electric Kool-Aid and wasn't he busted and didn't he escape to Mexico and come back as What Else "Captain Marvel." And Wolfe trips along until the Cuckoo's grounded. . . a sorry, sad, sordid head-ache. But a mad master portrait for Wolfe.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 1968

ISBN: 031242759X

Page Count: 436

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1968

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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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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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