Books by David Chanoff

Released: June 1, 2009

"Forthright, compelling look at a vanished, glittering era of show business."
A crooner's breezy memoir. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Nonetheless, Nuwere's version is noteworthy as an account of a techie's sentimental education—and a testimonial to the power of positive, if sometimes illegal, thinking. "
Or, Manchild in Tomorrowland: a memoir in which budding geek escapes Brooklyn slum via computer magic. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

Just what one would expect from the no-nonsense Elders: an unvarnished account that tells as much about our society as about her remarkable life. In collaboration with writer Chanoff (a visiting scholar at Brandeis Univ.), whose labors are happily invisible, Elders tells an inspiring story of a child born to an Arkansas sharecropper in 1933 who 60 years later became the first black woman surgeon general of the US. Family and church instilled in her early a commitment to education and a high moral sense. With a college scholarship, good role models, hard work, the GI Bill, and strong mentors, she rose swiftly. When she became chief resident at the University of Arkansas Medical School in 1963, it was an unheard-of honor for a black woman, and with the help of an NIH fellowship grant in biochemistry, she was soon Arkansas's resident expert in pediatric endocrinology. Elders's story is much more than a brilliant career rÇsumÇ. She shares details of her personal life—her strong marriage, her husband's deep depression, the loss of a child, and her younger son's problems with cocaine—and her introduction to public life. In 1987, Arkansas governor Bill Clinton asked her to direct the state's health department. With this appointment, Elders—a pragmatist, not a politician—battled ``antichoice, antieducation, anticondom fundamentalists'' outraged by her plans for distributing condoms in school clinics. Six years later, when Clinton picked the outspoken Elders as his surgeon general, he knew exactly what he was getting. Her account of her brief tenure, only 15 months, is restrained, but it's clear that relations with her boss, Donna Shalala, were rocky, and she blames Shalala and Leon Panetta, not Clinton, for her dismissal after the masturbation flap. Now back in Arkansas teaching pediatrics, Elders says she has no regrets. She knows who she is and what she stands for. After reading this absorbing autobiography, readers will too. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour) Read full book review >
Released: June 7, 1995

Technology magnate Zandman—founder of an enterprise doing $1 billion in sales each year, employer of more than 16,000 people in 11 countries, and at the core, Holocaust survivor—tells his story graphically. Zandman came of age in Hell. As a youth, he witnessed the extermination of Polish Jewry by the Nazis. Helpless, he watched his beloved grandfather, with three infants in his arms, taken from their home in Grodno to the gas chambers. Virtually his entire family gone, teenage Felix, an uncle, and a newly married couple were all hidden beneath the cottage of a courageous peasant family, in a hole dug under the floorboards. (The penalty for hiding Jews, of course, was immediate execution.) There they lived in fear for 17 months. Time after time Zandman escaped death. That's the first part of the memoir and it is compelling; his portraits of a gentle and wise family, of a ghetto packed with innocents, and of a historic civilization—all now gone forever—are powerful ones. His story then shifts to France after the war and a professional education, thence to America and his business adventures (starting, ironically, with a new method of measuring stress). Leveraging, merging, acquiring, incorporating, Zandman made himself into the quintessential tycoon. With perhaps pardonable pride (especially regarding his operations in Israel) the author (aided by Chanoff, coauthor of Portrait of the Enemy, 1986) presents his history of his firm, Vishay Intertechnology, and the commercial acumen that built it. The business bio is not a bad tale, but not nearly as arresting as the searing remembrance of his earlier days when survival was all. The two books are fused together for a unique addition the literature of the Holocaust. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1993

The low-key memoirs of a retired admiral whose ascent to four- star rank owed more to his world-class skills as a statesman and technocrat than to time at sea. Crowe—General Colin Powell's predecessor as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—made the most of his opportunities during a productive career that lasted just a bit longer than the cold war. A 1946 graduate of Annapolis, the Oklahoma-born author served aboard diesel-fueled submarines before the first of many assignments to the Pentagon, where he was invariably an aide to senior officers holding down influential operations and/or planning posts. Crowe (who holds a doctorate in political science) finally saw some combat as an advisor to riverine forces toward the end of the Vietnam War, and he went on to top commands at NATO and in the Pacific, after which President Reagan named him to head the JCS. Not one to underrate his own contributions, he devotes roughly half his text—written with the assistance of Chanoff (coauthor, Portrait of the Enemy, 1986)—to the four eventful years he spent on this demanding job. Among other excitements on Crowe's watch, the Achille Lauro was hijacked; the US launched a reprisal raid against Qaddafi; and Washington agreed to convoy Kuwait's tanker fleet through the Persian Gulf. On the home front, Congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, calculated to curb interservice rivalries and otherwise make the American military more efficient. Crowe refused President Bush's request to stay on, and he became a civilian in 1989, later attracting attention for his support of Bill Clinton's bid for the White House. An insider's illuminating, if tactful, appraisal of a defense establishment in transition, as well as of its varied constituencies and critics. (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen) Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 16, 1990

An American anthropologist spins an amazing tale of adventure and romance among "the last of the world's stone age warrior tribes." In 1975, graduate student Good headed off for 15 months of fieldwork along the Venezuelan-Brazilian border. He stayed for 12 years. Aim? To study the Yanomama, a nomadic tribe (current count: 10,000) so primitive it boasts no calendar, no metal, no clothing, no wheels. Against expectations, Good found "a way of life that, while dangerous and harsh, was also filled with camaraderie, compassion, and a thousand daily lessons in communal harmony"—not the least coming through his marriage to Yarima, a nine-year-old Yanomama girl. In addition to taking notes on Amazonian sexuality, largely a matter of "every man for himself," Good shared the everyday life of the tribe, observing customs that range, to an American mind, from the grotesque (drinking the ashes of the dead) to the nauseating (chewing on roasted tarantulas). In time, Good's anthropological diffidence vanished, and he found himself defending Yanomama women against sexual assault—finally bringing Yarima to America after she fell victim to gang-rape during his absence. Good rejects the theory that the Yanomama—and, by extension, all humans—are inherently violent, crediting them instead with high emotions and few restraints. This conclusion leads to some ugly sniping at opposing academics, the only blight in an otherwise outstanding jungle adventure—a page from H. Rider Haggard or W.H. Hudson come to life. Read full book review >