There’s not much what-if here and certainly no indecision. Instead, as if rallying the troops, Sanders writes confidently of...

OUR REVOLUTION

A FUTURE TO BELIEVE IN

A dark horse speaks, advancing, after the fact, “an agenda for a new America.”

Leave it to Sanders to be contrary: most politicos, Trump included, write their campaign books while still campaigning. We can only imagine the author believes that his efforts will be ongoing and continual; in that interest, this book capably captures the main points of his message: Washington is corrupt, money needs to be taken out of politics, and the working class needs a fair shake and, yes, a new deal. Sanders begins on a note that could only have come after the race, of course: namely, that nearly 1.5 million people attended his rallies, and his campaign “attracted the energetic support of hundreds of thousands of volunteers in every state in the country.” Here, the author, writing very much as he speaks (“Fortunately, we won that battle,” he says of a Republican effort to cut aid to disabled veterans, “but it sickens me that we even had to wage the fight”), takes a long look at some of the planks that he and his movement pressed onto the Democratic Party platform in the 2016 election, including immigration reform, the $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, and the breakup of banks too big to fail. In the place of any regrets comes plenty of fire and a little ire, as when he impatiently recalls what he considers to be Hillary Clinton’s mischaracterization of his position on guns. “This was an unfair attack,” he writes, “but one that I didn’t handle well.” He adds, “to suggest, as Clinton did, that I was somehow sympathetic to the gun lobby was absurd.” Most of the author’s scorn is reserved, though, for those who stand in the way of his common-sense if sometimes-technical recommendations on such matters as capital gains taxation, Medicare expansion, and infrastructure spending.

There’s not much what-if here and certainly no indecision. Instead, as if rallying the troops, Sanders writes confidently of a program that’s sure to be revisited in 2020.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-13292-5

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2016

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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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