Insider portraits tailor-made for golf enthusiasts.



Recounting a 25-year duel on the links.

“While there was respect, at times there was also pettiness and standoffishness,” writes senior golf writer Harig, describing the rivalry between these two great golfers in this insightful tale of the tape. He sets the stage with the 2004 Ryder Cup, when Hal Sutton, U.S. captain, surprisingly paired Woods and Mickelson together in two matches. They had never played together before. Their uneasy relationship was being put to the test, and they failed miserably, losing both. Harig chronicles in detail each player’s early rise to stardom. He notes that they were both brash and good at golf ever since they were young, with Mickelson, five years older, having an edge over Woods in terms of experience. The author reveals them as two very different kinds of players. Woods was a taciturn, tactical technician, Mickelson the imaginative, gambling prankster. Woods always took his game superseriously, Mickelson less so. Both accomplished impressive feats early in their careers, but Woods won his first appearance at the Masters as Mickelson missed the cut. “By that weekend in 1997, Phil knew what he was up against,” writes Harig. “As great as he was, Tiger was proving to be every bit the star and more.” In golf, head-to-head matchups are infrequent, so the author mostly covers this rivalry from afar. There was the much-hyped, made-for-TV “The Match” in 2018, which Mickelson won. Harig admits there was friction in their rivalry, but it has been “a glorious ride through more than two decades of highs and lows.” In the end, despite Mickelson’s outstanding career, the author declares Woods the winner of this rivalry, an opinion that will surprise few observers of the game. Though a touch overlong and sometimes dry, the narrative is enlivened with interesting quotes from players and caddies, much golf lore, and up-close descriptions of tournaments and the players’ games in action.

Insider portraits tailor-made for golf enthusiasts.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27446-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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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 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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A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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