An absorbing history of courage and carnage.




During World War I, women physicians saw an opportunity to aid the war effort and prove their professional worth.

Drawing on rich archival material, including letters and memoirs, London-based journalist Moore crafts a compelling history of the challenges faced by women doctors in the early years of the last century. The author focuses primarily on two indomitable women—surgeon Louisa Garrett Anderson and physician and anesthetist Flora Murray—who both had trained at the London School of Medicine for Women and who became lifelong companions. They, like their colleagues, faced widespread hostility; the British Medical Journal complained that the profession was being “besieged by fair invaders.” Nevertheless, determined to set up a hospital for wounded soldiers, the two women raised funds from friends, family, and fellow suffragettes, and many young women came forward eager to serve as doctors, nurses, and orderlies. First establishing a hospital in France, soon their success came to the attention of the British War Office, which invited them to run a 1,000-bed military hospital in a former workhouse on Endell Street in London. Unlike any other British Army hospital, Moore writes, “it would be run solely by women, with an almost entirely female staff.” The author's chronicle of the Endell Street hospital highlights the barbarity of the war: In its four and a half years of existence, the hospital treated tens of thousands of patients and performed more than 7,000 surgeries, treating injuries—such as wounds from powerful artillery and high-explosive shells and the horrific effects of chlorine gas—that many physicians had never before seen. Its reputation was stellar despite incredulous reports about a hospital run by “mere women.” Many medical schools, facing a dearth of male students, at last opened their doors to women. After the war, though, “women doctors were sidelined again into low-status, low paid jobs” in maternity, child care, asylums, and workhouse infirmaries, and medical schools again barred women; “peace had seemingly brought their value to an end.”

An absorbing history of courage and carnage.

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5416-7272-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Basic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


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 clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

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A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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