Keenly executed, exemplary spadework dedicated to justice for all women caught in the crosshairs of privileged power.

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SHE SAID

BREAKING THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT STORY THAT HELPED IGNITE A MOVEMENT

A behind-the-scenes look at the Harvey Weinstein case as told by the two New York Times journalists who broke the story.

When Kantor (The Obamas, 2012) and Twohey published their 2017 article series implicating Weinstein in a 30-year-long sexual misconduct scandal, it garnered worldwide attention, earned the news outlet the Pulitzer Prize, and briskly vaporized the Hollywood film producer’s career and reputation. In vivid, cinematic fashion, the authors describe the risky investigation from its first probing telephone calls and emails to the challenges of obtaining recorded interviews. Despite episodes of self-doubt, an avalanche of testimonials from victimized women started pouring in. Kantor and Twohey focus on the details of how they doggedly procured sources, chased leads, and obtained enough concrete evidence to blow the case open. As the attestations began to accumulate, so did the trouble, including calculated interference and intimidation from a supposed Weinstein-hired Israeli intelligence organization, which attempted to sabotage the entire endeavor. The authors also examine the nature of wealth and power and how the corruption of privilege infected Weinstein, Miramax, and his expansive web of malefactors, which included employees, publicists, and the corporate machines aligned alongside him who overlooked his reprehensive behavior and supervised his confidential settlements to the women he abused. The authors chronicle the early testimonies from Gwyneth Paltrow and Ashley Judd as well as an initially reluctant Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her and labeled his notorious behavior “an open secret in Hollywood/Media.” The journalists’ work helped ignite the burgeoning #MeToo movement and inspired a massive cultural sea change, but they also acknowledge the grueling work ahead, as evidenced in the book’s concluding chapters featuring Christine Blasey Ford, who shares her personal insights on the steamrolled Supreme Court appointment of Brett Kavanaugh. Both admirable and suspenseful, the narrative is a fitting testament to the power of persistence and dedication in exposing critical crimes.

Keenly executed, exemplary spadework dedicated to justice for all women caught in the crosshairs of privileged power.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-56034-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2019

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A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

INTO THE WILD

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

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WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR

A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

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