Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 6)

BERNIE by Ted Rall
by Ted Rall, illustrated by Ted Rall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An effective, if unapologetically partisan, primer on a strong voice from the left to counter the Democrats' rightward shift."
More than a campaign biography, this graphic narrative traces the decline and possible resurgence of liberalism within the Democratic Party. Read full book review >
AMERICAN GOVERNOR by Matt Katz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An evenhanded, timely biography of a boisterous politician who 'personif[ies] a media-focused, celebrity-obsessed, blunt-talking U.S. of A.'"
A hard-boiled account of the career of Chris Christie, colorful governor and presidential aspirant, "the first bona fide American YouTube politician." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 15, 2016

"Juicy royal history that may or may not be true. Either way, the story of Thomas' comeuppance and Elizabeth's reaction makes for a quick, enjoyable read."
Tudor historian Norton (The Tudor Miscellany, 2014, etc.) looks at Henry VIII's daughter and widow, but the real story here is Thomas Seymour.Read full book review >
My Cousin & Me by Gordon Harrison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 15, 2016

"A flawed but often engaging account of one man's deeply personal relationship with Canadian wildlife."
This "natural history memoir" uses anecdotes, philosophy, and evolutionary theory to describe the flora and fauna of rural Ontario. Read full book review >
SKEPTIC by Michael Shermer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Dense with facts, convincing arguments, and curious statistics, this is an ingenious collection of light entertainment for readers who believe that explaining stuff is a good idea."
A collection of 75 of the Scientific American columns by author and gadfly Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom, 2015, etc.).Read full book review >

THE GILDED RAZOR by Sam Lansky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A candid, eye-opening memoir of illicit drugs and sex—though, for some readers, it may prove too intimate and too full of semigraphic descriptions of the sex, drugs, and misery he suffered through before finally quitting before he was 20."
Time editor Lansky delivers a gut-wrenching exposé of his adolescence, a period filled with a steady diet of drugs, prescription and street, and one-night stands with older men. Read full book review >
BAD NEWS by Anjan Sundaram
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A chilling account of reporters in danger that heightens awareness of the importance of a free press."
A journalist's memoir of training reporters during a dangerous time in Rwanda. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A heartfelt dose of old-time religion mixed with modern-day activism."
A battle-hardened pastor calls for a faith-based, grass-roots movement for social justice. Read full book review >
BENAZIR BHUTTO by Brooke Allen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Although drawing on only limited Pakistani sources, Allen nevertheless creates a compelling look at Bhutto's tumultuous life and Pakistan's roiling history."
A concise biography of the divisive Pakistani leader. Read full book review >
FAKE MISSED CONNECTIONS by Brett Fletcher Lauer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"During his journey through online dating, Lauer offered women 'the illusion that [they] could understand me,' which he extends to readers as well."
The tale of how the author's wife's infidelity sent him into the brave new world of Internet dating. Read full book review >
NYPD GREEN by Luke Waters
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Amusing recollections of 'The Job' with some insider details, but it's unlikely to stand out among a recent flood of law enforcement memoirs."
The memoir of an Irish-American's service with the New York Police Department, told with equal parts Gaelic charm and cop cynicism. Read full book review >
THE HUNDRED-YEAR WALK by Dawn Anahid MacKeen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Powerful, terrible stories about what people are willing to do to other people—but leavened with hope and, ultimately, forgiveness."
A freelance journalist debuts with an account of her long effort to retrace the journey of her grandfather, who improbably survived the vast massacre of Armenians during World War I. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >