Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Except for the final chapter about her mother's death and her father's subsequent depression and drinking problems, the book falls far short of her compelling historical narratives."
Pulitzer Prize—winning historian Goodwin (No Ordinary Time, 1994, etc.) turns her gaze inward, looking back on a childhood enlivened by books and baseball. Read full book review >
APPETITE FOR LIFE by Noel Riley Fitch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"An exhaustively researched, charming story of a life well lived, and an admiring portrait of a good marriage."
Riley (Anaãs: The Erotic Life of Anaãs Nin, 1993, etc.) offers a loving, overstuffed biography of the cook from Pasadena who introduced French cooking to the American kitchen. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Mays thoughtfully interprets Southern culture, but his self-absorption makes the journey less compelling as memoir than as history. (8 pages b&w photos) ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
A soul-searching memoir makes poetic hay of the saw that you can take the boy out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the boy. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"To be read more as a cautionary tale for aspiring rural vets than as a warmhearted peek at a country doctor's tribulations. (Literary Guild alternate selection; author tour)"
McCormack's (Fields and Pastures New, 1995) rural, deep South veterinary practice provides a wealth of anecdotes, which he relates in a crusty, quick-tempered style. Read full book review >
INTO THE TWILIGHT, ENDLESSLY GROUSING by Patrick F. McManus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Meanwhile, more huntin' and fishin' country humor for old fans and new urban owners of utility vehicles. (Author tour)"
There are, we know, regular woodland verities: the cry of a loon across a lake, the bellow of an elk on a starlit mountain, and various other calls of nature. Read full book review >

JACKIE ROBINSON by Arnold Rampersad
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Somewhat languidly paced but nevertheless gripping, this oustanding biography is in every way worthy of its esteemed subject. (24 pages photos, not seen) (First printing of 200,000; Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
Avoiding the sentimentality surrounding the 50th anniversary of Robinson's major-league debut, Rampersad compellingly projects his life against the backdrop of the persons and institutions that affected him and that he, in turn, helped to change. Read full book review >
NO REGRETS by Caroline Seebohm
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Too much emphasis on celebrity guest lists and the houses, dresses, and servants that money could buy override the very real courage that Tree and her generation demonstrated in demanding to lead their own lives. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The woman who emerges from this biography is a kind of classy Pamela Harriman—certainly not the image Marietta Peabody Tree, a minister's daughter and a Peabody of Massachusetts, envisioned for herself. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

This quirky combination of autobiography, politics, and investment advice leaves the impression that being (and becoming) wealthy is pretty interesting work. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"The book's obvious title, already used for a Monk documentary, is a perfect tipoff that Gourse has little to say about her subject that is imaginative or useful. (photos, not seen)"
A ramshackle biography of the legendary jazz innovator. Read full book review >
THE FINAL ACT by Gregor Dallas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A gripping and highly original work of popular history. (50 illustrations, 3 maps, not seen)"
A broad, colorful, engaging panorama of a crucial moment in the shaping of modern Europe, tracing the fall of Napoleon and the wily maneuvers of the victors to carve up his collapsed empire. Read full book review >
COUSINS by Athol Fugard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Good enough to intrigue Fugard's admirers, but not good enough to draw in anyone else. (photos, not seen)"
Memories of two male relatives whom the noted South African playwright believes helped inspire him to write, mingled with bittersweet recollections of his youth, in a poignant but underdeveloped memoir. Read full book review >
ARCHIBALD COX by Ken Gormley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Otherwise, this well-written biography will be of most interest to students of law in the public interest. (b&w photos, not seen)"
The jurist who gave Richard Nixon fits receives his due in a satisfying biography. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >