Besides making for absorbing reading, these essays pack a feminist wallop.


A vigorous selection of essays spanning the magazine’s modern era that underscore the combative resilience of notable accomplished women who never gave in to what was expected of them.

Perusing the list of subjects—including, among many others, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Tiny Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Frida Kahlo, Michelle Phillips, Princess Diana, Tina Turner, and Lady Gaga—it’s clear that a major theme of the collection is overcoming adversity. The profiles are divided into “Comedians,” “White House,” “Society and Style,” “Renegades,” “Musicians,” “the House of Windsor,” “The Stars,” and “In Their Own Words,” and the content spans the last four decades of editors-in-chief, including Tina Brown, Graydon Carter, and Jones, the current EIC. Yes, the pieces engagingly capture the celebrity of many of the subjects, but they are also culturally relevant and timely—e.g., “The Change Agent,” about actor Michelle Williams, who forced a reckoning over the wide discrepancy in pay between men and women in Hollywood. Written as minibiographies, the profiles serve as poignant tales of how one rises and falls and then rises again. In “Deconstructing Gloria” (1992), Leslie Bennetts examines how Gloria Steinem caused a major scandal by dating real estate mogul Mort Zuckerman, as if she were betraying all her feminist ideals: “Trashing her became the favorite spectator sport of the smart set.” In Maureen Orth’s piece on Tina Turner, the singer recounts candidly how she was abused physically and emotionally by Ike Turner for decades; though many witnessed the mistreatment, “no one ever intervened.” Along with bubbly profiles of style icons Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, Laura Jacobs offers an astute piece on Emily Post, who turned a soured marriage and scandalous divorce into a satisfying new career as a bestselling writer. Finally, there are a cluster of recent essays delineating the fallout of the #MeToo movement by those closest to the subject in film, literature, and Wall Street.

Besides making for absorbing reading, these essays pack a feminist wallop.

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-56214-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


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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Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.



Rootin’-tootin’ history of the dry-gulchers, horn-swogglers, and outright killers who populated the Wild West’s wildest city in the late 19th century.

The stories of Wyatt Earp and company, the shootout at the O.K. Corral, and Geronimo and the Apache Wars are all well known. Clavin, who has written books on Dodge City and Wild Bill Hickok, delivers a solid narrative that usefully links significant events—making allies of white enemies, for instance, in facing down the Apache threat, rustling from Mexico, and other ethnically charged circumstances. The author is a touch revisionist, in the modern fashion, in noting that the Earps and Clantons weren’t as bloodthirsty as popular culture has made them out to be. For example, Wyatt and Bat Masterson “took the ‘peace’ in peace officer literally and knew that the way to tame the notorious town was not to outkill the bad guys but to intimidate them, sometimes with the help of a gun barrel to the skull.” Indeed, while some of the Clantons and some of the Earps died violently, most—Wyatt, Bat, Doc Holliday—died of cancer and other ailments, if only a few of old age. Clavin complicates the story by reminding readers that the Earps weren’t really the law in Tombstone and sometimes fell on the other side of the line and that the ordinary citizens of Tombstone and other famed Western venues valued order and peace and weren’t particularly keen on gunfighters and their mischief. Still, updating the old notion that the Earp myth is the American Iliad, the author is at his best when he delineates those fraught spasms of violence. “It is never a good sign for law-abiding citizens,” he writes at one high point, “to see Johnny Ringo rush into town, both him and his horse all in a lather.” Indeed not, even if Ringo wound up killing himself and law-abiding Tombstone faded into obscurity when the silver played out.

Buffs of the Old West will enjoy Clavin’s careful research and vivid writing.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-21458-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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