Next book


A good choice for any reader with an interest in Middle Eastern affairs, though perhaps unlikely to sway those whose minds...

A plea for “radical goodwill” in the face of the seemingly intractable bad blood between Israelis and Palestinians.

In Judaism, writes the philosophically adept Halevi (Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation, 2013), a senior fellow at the Shalom Harman Institute, there is one transgression so great that even fasting at Yom Kippur cannot atone for it: “desecrating God’s Name.” By his account, interacting with practitioners of other faiths strengthens and “sanctifies” the bond, forcing the recognition that there are many paths to truth and that, in the end, all that will be left of us is bones and souls. Coexistence has hitherto been sought by exclusion and separation, with Jews, Muslims, and Christians retreating into their separate corners in the Holy Land. Clearly that’s not working, Halevi argues, and if every path toward a solution is fraught with problems, at least there’s promise at the end. The author proposes some truly radical solutions, including reparations for Palestinians displaced from their homeland (and for Mizrahim, Jews forced to leave their Arab homelands for Israel in return) and a hard bargain for the intractable: “I forfeit Greater Israel and you forfeit Greater Palestine,” a proposal likely to fire up opposition among the nationalist hardcore on both sides. More searchingly, Halevi urges that each camp look into its faith to determine where common ground can be found and, even more difficult, where in its doctrine barriers to peace are located: Can Jews give up land they believe sacred, and can Muslims accept the thought that non-Muslims can be equals? The author’s reasoned if sometimes too hopeful suggestions for peaceful reconciliation are surely worth hearing out, though one can imagine the din that would accompany any public reading of his pages among the ranks of Hamas or the Likud.

A good choice for any reader with an interest in Middle Eastern affairs, though perhaps unlikely to sway those whose minds are made up.

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-284491-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Next book


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

Next book



Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

Close Quickview