An engrossing tale of one shining moment in dark times.

TIGERLAND

1968-1969: A CITY DIVIDED, A NATION TORN APART, AND A MAGICAL SEASON OF HEALING

During the 1968-1969 school year, an all-black high school soared to win Ohio’s basketball and baseball championships.

Journalist Haygood (Media, Journalism, and Film/Miami Univ.; The Haygoods of Columbus: A Love Story, 2016, etc.), a Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, tells a story of perseverance, courage, and breathtaking talent as he recounts, in vibrant detail, the achievements of the Tigers, a basketball and baseball team at Columbus, Ohio’s inner-city East High School. Drawing on interviews with the athletes and their families, coaches, and teachers as well as published and archival sources, the author creates moving portraits of the teenagers and their undaunted coaches and supporters. “Black boys in a white world,” the students lived on the blighted side of town and had always attended underfunded schools; many had mothers who cleaned houses for wealthy whites. But they were uniquely, impressively talented athletes, and sports was a means of proving their worth. The Tigers could not have achieved their success without the help of two dedicated coaches: Bob Hart and Paul Pennell, both white, “big-hearted men who had a social conscience”; nor without the tireless and defiant efforts of Jack Gibbs, Columbus’ first black high school principal, an astute networker who roused support from parents, business owners, and community leaders. Because the East Side had the city’s highest crime rate, Gibbs made sure the students were kept too busy with school activities to get into mischief. East High “became part progressive laboratory, part military school, a place that had high expectations for student achievement.” Haygood dramatically renders the heady excitement of each game, the tense moments of a close contest, and the exuberant—tear-jerking—wins. The inspiring story of East High’s championship becomes even more astonishing in the context of endemic racism, which the author closely examines, and “the turmoil of a nation at war and in the midst of unrest,” roiled by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

An engrossing tale of one shining moment in dark times.

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3186-1

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2018

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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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A PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

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