America The Black Point of View: An Investigation and Study of The White People of America and Western Europe and The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy - The 1950's and 1960's - From the Projects to NAACP Image Award Winner, Volume One.

A sometimes-distorted and sometimes-revealing portrait of a nightmarish United States.

White racism, slavery, and ongoing bigotry are to blame for the problems of black America, as well as the author’s violent youth, according to this manifesto and accompanying memoir.

Rose, a publisher and record producer, opens his book with an essay. Its subjects include the sins of white people against Africans, surveying the horrors of the Middle Passage; the violation of slave women by white owners in the American South and the brutalization and emasculation of black men; the drug trade in black communities, which he contends is organized by the U.S. government; police killings; and the ingrained racism of some 70 percent of whites. Rose’s rambling exposition of the history of slavery and racism, some of it apparently reprinted from Wikipedia, contains much truth. However, it also contains exaggeration and stereotyping of people of European descent, whom he characterizes as “primitive, barbaric, vicious white monkeys [who] descended with the horrors of their psychotic desires and thirst for blood, rape and death on so-called uncivilized African and people of color throughout the world.” He calls for reparations, and urges African-American youngsters to avoid drugs and crime and get an education; less constructively, he suggests that “whenever we meet or see a white man we should all just spit on him for the death of our millions of ancestors.” The volume’s second part, “The Autobiography of an American Ghetto Boy,” is more personal and less ideological, as it recounts Rose’s grim upbringing in the purgatory of Boston’s housing projects in the 1950s and ’60s. He writes of being perpetually hungry; abandoned by his father, a career pimp and mob hit man who was often in jail; regularly beaten by a mentally unstable mother; and preyed upon by merciless gangs—until he joined one and started committing robberies. His story also has its heroes, including his genteel grandmother, sympathetic grocers, the nuns at his parochial school, a caring Boy Scout leader, and finally, the U.S. Air Force, which gave him training and discipline. Overall, the memoir is fragmented and repetitive. However, his prose is vigorous and vivid, and sometimes pungent, scabrous, and sexually graphic. It leaves a lasting impression of the chaos, deprivation, and psychic ravages of the ghetto, but also gives readers a more nuanced, three-dimensional view of its social life and its people.

A sometimes-distorted and sometimes-revealing portrait of a nightmarish United States.

Pub Date: May 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-937269-50-0

Page Count: 572

Publisher: Amber Communications Group, Inc.

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2015



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Close Quickview