An engrossing, intense, and highly descriptive narrative chronicling the ghastly conditions three pregnant women suffered...

BORN SURVIVORS

THREE YOUNG MOTHERS AND THEIR EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF COURAGE, DEFIANCE, AND HOPE

The incredible true story of three Jewish women who survived the Holocaust.

Priska, Rachel, and Anka were married Jewish women in their early 20s when the Nazis took control of Europe. Like millions of other Jews, they were forced to give up their normal lives, all of their belongings, and their homes. Shuttled into ghettos and then off to one of the most notorious camps, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, they suffered through the Nazis’ increasing atrocities. But these three women all held a secret: they were pregnant. They were moved from Auschwitz and ended up in Mauthausen, another notorious death camp. With facing the most horrible conditions imaginable, all three gave birth right before the Allies accepted Germany’s surrender. In this meticulously detailed account, Holden (Haatchi & Little B: The Inspiring True Story of One Boy and His Dog, 2014, etc.) compiles an enormous amount of information from interviews, letters, historical records, and personal visits to the sites where this story unfolded. The graphic history places readers in the moment and provides a sense of the enduring power of love that Priska, Rachel, and Anka had for their unborn children and for the husbands they so desperately hoped to see after the war. Even though it occurred more than 70 years ago, the story’s truth is so chillingly portrayed that it seems as if it could have happened recently. These three women and their infants survived in the face of death, and, Holden writes, “their babies went on to have babies of their own and create a second and then a third generation, all of whom continue to live their lives in defiance of Hitler’s plan to erase them from history and from memory.”

An engrossing, intense, and highly descriptive narrative chronicling the ghastly conditions three pregnant women suffered through at the hands of the Nazis.

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-06-237025-9

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2015

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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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