TAKING BACK OUR STREETS

FIGHTING CRIME IN AMERICA

A surprisingly compassionate, common-sense guide to controlling crime, from the police chief of Los Angeles. Williams begins with the events of March 1991, when 81 seconds of videotape caught Rodney King being beaten by cops in L.A. Williams, then police commissioner in Philadelphia, privately congratulated himself on his own department, which was running better than it had in years. In June 1992, Williams moved across the country and took charge of the embattled LAPD, and inherited more trouble than he ever imagined. In this simple, straightforward book, Williams outlines the reasons behind the acrimonious relationship between Los Angelenos and their police. Williams, who is black (though he considers himself first and foremost ``blue''), addresses the issue of race by actively encouraging minorities to join the force and by reminding older cops either to accept new faces or leave. Williams is a staunch gun control advocate and a firm supporter of community policing, stands that have helped to decrease tensions in Los Angeles. He illustrates the importance of community policing through examples of arrests gone wrong, and he builds a strong case for streamlining procedures to identify and fire rogue cops. Williams may be quick to punish, but he is also quick to commend and finds much to praise about the LAPD, defending its actions in recent high-profile cases like the investigation of Michael Jackson for sexual misconduct. Williams's style lacks fire, but it is certainly heartfelt. While none of the ideas here are radically new, Williams presents his vision of a police department with enthusiasm and grace, and with the results to back it up.

Pub Date: April 22, 1996

ISBN: 0-684-80277-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1996

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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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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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