A wide-ranging history of a tangled campaign—catnip for politics junkies.

BATTLE FOR THE SOUL

INSIDE THE DEMOCRATS' CAMPAIGNS TO DEFEAT TRUMP

A carefully structured account of the many moving parts that turned the Democratic Party into a resistance movement against Trump.

Barack Obama, writes Atlantic lead political correspondent Dovere, “never understood why people disliked [Hillary] Clinton so much. He could also never get over how bad a campaigner she was.” He didn’t do much to help in her campaign until it was too late. Somehow Trump managed to squeak by her even as Obama finally told aides, “do you really want a psychopath sitting at that desk?” and ordered them to do something to get that message through to voters. Yet, Dovere writes, there was a certain continuity to a vote for Obama in 2008 and a vote for Trump in 2016: Both were outsiders running a populist campaign, if of very different dispositions. Obama tried to guide Trump to effectiveness after the election, suggesting that he “make a few patches to Obamacare and call it Trumpcare” and warning him not to hire Michael Flynn, whose Russian connections were already well known. Trump ignored the advice. His intransigence emerged early, moving Nancy Pelosi to challenge his claim that he had won the popular vote. Trump was great for Obama, Dovere notes, retrospectively erasing the errors he made in office, while resistance to Trump soon became marching orders for party stalwarts. Some of the newsworthy items in this book: Clinton contemplated running again in 2020 only to conclude that if she did, Bernie Sanders would be the guaranteed candidate. She hoped instead for a deadlocked convention by which the Democrats would call her back by acclaim. It was to the Democrats’ good fortune, Dovere suggests, that Trump was so inept, especially with respect to the pandemic, and that the Republican Party “was defining itself as the check against America’s changing.” That America was changing seems to have eluded them all, leaving Trump a loser “on the biggest stage of his life.”

A wide-ranging history of a tangled campaign—catnip for politics junkies.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984878-07-6

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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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 cogent overview of the court’s crucial role, the application of which is sure to be discussed among scholars.

THE AUTHORITY OF THE COURT AND THE PERIL OF POLITICS

Why the Supreme Court deserves the public’s trust.

Based on his 2021 lecture at Harvard Law School, Supreme Court Justice Breyer offers a selected history of court cases, a defense of judicial impartiality, and recommendations for promoting the public’s respect for and acceptance of the role of the judiciary in the future. The author regrets that many Americans see the justices as “unelected political officials or ‘junior varsity’ politicians themselves, rather than jurists,” asserting that “nearly all” justices apply “the basic same interpretive tools” to decide a case: “They will consider the statute’s text, its history, relevant legal tradition, precedents, the statute’s purposes (or the values that underlie it), and the relevant consequences.” Although Breyer maintains that all try to avoid the influence of ideology or political philosophy, he acknowledges that suggesting “a total and clean divorce between the Court and politics is not quite right either,” since a justice’s background, education, and experiences surely affect their views, especially when considering the consequences of a decision. The judicial process, Breyer explains, begins as a conference held once or twice each week where substantive discussion leads to preliminary conclusions. Sometimes, in order to find a majority, the court will take a minimalist perspective, allowing those who differ “on the broader legal questions to come together in answering narrower ones.” Noting that, in 2016, only 1 in 4 Americans could name the three branches of federal government, Breyer suggests a revival of civics education in schools so that students can learn how government works and what the rule of law is. He believes that confidence in government will result from citizens’ participation in public life: by voting, taking part in local governance such as school boards, and resolving their differences through argument, debate, cooperation, and compromise, all of which are “the embodiment of the democratic ideal.”

A cogent overview of the court’s crucial role, the application of which is sure to be discussed among scholars.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-674-26936-1

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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