Bristling with patriotic fervor, Kent's (The Civil War, p. 480) undigested account of the Persian Gulf War pits heroic multinational coalition forces against the menacing but overrated troops of a vicious dictator, all in the cause of freedom. To say that the author pours it on thickly is to put it mildly. After opening with CNN's famous eyewitness account of the attack on Baghdad (``the reporters voices exclaimed `Oooooh,' then `Oooow' ''), he rapidly sketches the historical background before describing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (``A few gallant Kuwaitis defended the palace'') and the barbaric behavior of the occupying troops. Operation Desert Storm and the ensuing Iraqi rout are covered in some detail, laced with justifications from President Bush, Saddam Hussein's bluster, sound bites from various generals and frontline soldiers, plus the parades of numbers and ordnance (``The pilots unleashed their laser-guided Hellfire antitank missiles, 2.75-inch rockets, and 30mm. guns''). Kent does touch on both sides' strategy and tactics, cultural clashes within the coalition, postwar cleanup, the foiled 1993 assassination plot against President Bush, and plenty of other topics, but he brings neither insight nor perspective to the conflict. A decidedly superficial view of this brief but violent episode. (Chronology; notes; limited bibliography; index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-89490-528-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Enslow

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1994

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.



One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Sandwiched between telling lines from the epic of Gilgamesh (“…the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, / he uses her, no one dares to oppose him”) and the exposure of a migrant worker–trafficking ring in Florida in the mid-1990s, this survey methodically presents both a history of the slave trade and what involuntary servitude was and is like in a broad range of times and climes. Though occasionally guilty of overgeneralizing, the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays. Also, though their accounts of slavery in North America and the abolition movement in Britain are more detailed than the other chapters, the practice’s past and present in Africa, Asia and the Pacific—including the modern “recruitment” of child soldiers and conditions in the Chinese laogai (forced labor camps)—do come in for broad overviews. For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkins’ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust as a first look at a terrible topic. (timeline, index; notes and sources on an associated website) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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