Nakate is conscious of the power her voice wields, and the world would benefit from listening.

A BIGGER PICTURE

MY FIGHT TO BRING A NEW AFRICAN VOICE TO THE CLIMATE CRISIS

Debut memoir from a young Ugandan climate activist who was infamously cropped out of a 2020 photo taken at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“I was the only one who wasn’t from Europe and the only one who was black,” writes Nakate. “They hadn’t just cropped me out, I realized. They’d cropped out a whole continent.” In 2018, after witnessing devastating floods in Uganda and other nations in East Africa, Nakate diverged from her path studying business and finance in college. Reckoning with the severe lack of formal education about the climate crisis, she conducted extensive research and connected with other young activists who shared her passion. Though initially unsure and hesitant when she took to the streets of Kampala with her placards to strike, Nakate harnessed her inner courage and genuine concern for the planet to make her voice heard, and readers will eagerly follow the ups and downs of her journey. From her early local strikes with family and friends to international travel to the Youth Climate Summit in New York City in September 2019 and the U.N. Conference of the Parties in Madrid two months later, Nakate is frank about the disappointments she experienced as she battled the media’s tendency to ignore voices like hers. The text is riddled with eye-popping statistics to illustrate the gravity of the climate change situation, but it is the author’s personal stories that make the book particularly memorable. Nakate is in a vital position as a Black, Ugandan woman. Through her lens and interviews with other activists, we see how climate disasters disproportionately impact women in the Global South. Along with recounting her experiences, the author provides lots of information that may be unfamiliar to readers: Facts about the destruction of the Congo rainforest and the drying out of the Lake Chad Basin will force readers to pay attention—and hopefully, to act in whatever way they are able.

Nakate is conscious of the power her voice wields, and the world would benefit from listening.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-358-65450-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Mariner Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

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PERIL

An account of the last gasps of the Trump administration, completing a trilogy begun with Fear (2018) and Rage (2020).

One of Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Costa’s most memorable revelations comes right away: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling his counterpart in Beijing to assure him that even after Jan. 6 and what Milley saw as an unmistakable attempt at a coup d’état, he would keep Trump from picking a war with China. This depiction has earned much attention on the talking-heads news channels, but more significant is its follow-up: Milley did so because he was concerned that Trump “might still be looking for what Milley called a ‘Reichstag moment.’ ” Milley emerges as a stalwart protector of the Constitution who constantly courted Trump’s ire and yet somehow survived without being fired. No less concerned about Trump’s erratic behavior was Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, who studied the psychiatric literature for a big takeaway: “Do not humiliate Trump in public. Humiliating a narcissist risked real danger, a frantic lashing out if he felt threatened or criticized.” Losing the 2020 election was one such humiliation, and Woodward and Costa closely track the trajectory of Trump’s reaction, from depression to howling rage to the stubborn belief that the election was rigged. There are a few other modest revelations in the book, including the fact that Trump loyalist William Barr warned him that the electorate didn’t like him. “They just think you’re a fucking asshole,” Barr told his boss. That was true enough, and the civil war that the authors recount among various offices in the White House and government reveals that Trump’s people were only ever tentatively his. All the same, the authors note, having drawn on scores of “deep background” interviews, Trump still has his base, still intends vengeance by way of a comeback, and still constitutes the peril of their title.

A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises.

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982182-91-5

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2021

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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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