ONE NATION

This is a Life on America prize winner, which may give it one boost over the hurdle that it is "another book about our minority problem". It is more, much more, than just another picture book, though it may reach that picture book market for the quality and human interest in the very fine photographs that have been brought together for the purpose of making this book. The pictures — and the text — are the result of more than a year's survey of the racial and religious stresses in wartime (and, we must acknowledge, in peacetime, too). The approach is astonishingly objective — Stegner, recognizes where the faults lie, and not always on the side of the accused. His plea is not for stereotyped equality, but for equal opportunity. He condemns the violation of such rights. He indicates, without undue emphasis, the economic, social, religious reasons behind discrimination. He shows — in few but dramatic words — a clear relationship — the difference one of degree — to Nazi practices in some things that happen in these United States. He traces the patterns of exclusions — segregation school systems, social and economic discrimination. He indicates signs of hope — of progress. He defines what is meant by the term prejudice — what involved therein. And — through photographs and brief introductory text before each group of pictures — he presents our minorities, — the Pacific races, the Mexicans and Spanish-Americans, the Indians, the Negroes, the Catholics, the Jews. He treads on lots of toes — but — in the brevity of the book — may reach many hearts.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 1945

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1945

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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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