Solid journalism on a pressing problem that is likely to get far worse, and soon.

HOLDING BACK THE RIVER

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST NATURE ON AMERICA'S WATERWAYS

A gimlet-eyed look at America’s rapidly deteriorating riparian infrastructure.

In the days of Lewis and Clark, writes freelance journalist Kelley, the sight of the Missouri River in seasonal flood, overspilling its banks and “spreading out to fill its floodplain,” would have seemed entirely natural. Their successors in the Army Corps of Engineers took a dim view of rivers doing their own thing, though, and over time the nation has invested trillions of dollars in efforts to control them, from huge dams to the extensive levee system along the lower Mississippi. These structures are now crumbling, and although the Trump administration talked a big game about investing in infrastructure, it was consistently sidetracked by diversions of the president’s own making—the testimony of James Comey on Russian involvement in the 2016 election, for instance, overshadowing a promise to ease regulations on coal and boost the barge industry. The professional organization of civil engineers rates the nation’s dams at a D, identifying more than 15,500 as being of “high-hazard potential”—i.e., likely to cause deaths if they failed. Of a critically important lock on the Ohio River, its manager sighs, “The lock is kept going with all the bubble gum and duct tape we’ve got left.” Meanwhile, even as the Corps of Engineers negotiates new spillways and scrambles to keep up with existing structures, nature works to thwart their efforts. For example, a projected plan to divert the Mississippi to Louisiana’s Barataria Bay would kill some of the state’s most lucrative oyster beds and a resident dolphin population—all in service of trying to keep New Orleans from going underwater, which seems destined to happen anyway, with a “new shoreline…around the latitude of Baton Rouge and the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.” Kelley concludes with an exhortation to develop “a basin-based approach” to river management while there’s still a little time left.

Solid journalism on a pressing problem that is likely to get far worse, and soon.

Pub Date: April 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8704-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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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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A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

MY TRAVELS WITH MRS. KENNEDY

A follow-up to the bestselling Mrs. Kennedy and Me.

Teaming up again with his co-author (now wife) on previous books, Hill, a distinguished former Secret Service agent, remembers his days traveling the world as Jacqueline Kennedy’s trusted bodyguard. After John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, Hill received a medal for valor in protecting the president and his wife, Jackie, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s bullets. Later, the medal vanished along with photos of the author's travels with Mrs. Kennedy as a Secret Service bodyguard. Hill recounts how his search for an old award he never wanted yielded an even greater treasure: forgotten images of his globe-trotting adventures with the first lady. The photographs—some in color, some in black and white—immediately transported the bewitched author back to the glittering heyday of Camelot. Images of Jackie in Paris brought memories of the president’s first major state excursion to France, in 1961, where the otherwise very private first lady was “the center of all attention.” Numerous other diplomatic trips followed—to England, Greece, India, Pakistan, and across South America. Everything Jackie did, from visiting ruined temples to having lunch with Queen Elizabeth, was headline news. Hill dutifully protected her from gawkers and paparazzi not only on public occasions, but also more private ones such as family retreats to the Amalfi Coast and the Kennedys’ country home in Middleburg, Virginia. In three short years, the never-romantic bond between the two deepened to a place “beyond friendship” in which “we could communicate with each other with a look or a nod….She knew that I would do whatever she asked—whether it was part of my job as a Secret Service agent or not.” Replete with unseen private photos and anecdotes of a singular relationship, the book will appeal mostly to American historians but also anyone interested in the private world inhabited by one of the most beguiling but enigmatic first ladies in American history.

A fond remembrance of a glamorous, bygone era.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982181-11-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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