Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 10)

The Las Vegas Madam by Jami Rodman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 10, 2015

"Not always sure of its own stance on escorts, this book still offers an effective behind-the-scenes tour."
A debut memoir describes how a small-town Christian girl ends up running a Las Vegas escort agency, charging up to $1,500 an hour. Read full book review >
My Father's Son by John Davis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 9, 2015

"A snappy, sensitive autobiography."
In this well-crafted debut memoir, Davis recounts his early life with an angry, drug-dealing father and comes to terms with the fact of his adoption. Read full book review >

QUEEN VICTORIA'S MYSTERIOUS DAUGHTER by Lucinda Hawksley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"Hawksley conveys Louise's story fully and clearly, but just as importantly, she shows the devastating damage Queen Victoria inflicted on her extensive family."
Hawksley (March, Women, March: Voices of the Women's Movement from the First Feminist to Votes for Women, 2013, etc.) does a yeoman's service providing an illuminating biography of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise (1848-1939).Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"An overly speculative but sympathetic look at Huxley's cadre of determined investigators probing the mind."
Symons (Communications and Media Studies/Santa Ana Coll.; Nostradamus, Vagabond Prophet, 2011, etc.) explores Aldous Huxley's quest to expand consciousness.Read full book review >
FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS by Roger Scruton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"Caustic, highly recherché, and simply great fun to read for the questing intellectual soul."
Prickly and terrifically entertaining skewering of the left's darling male thinkers—both European and American, from Sartre to Said. Read full book review >

THE SECRET TEACHERS OF THE WESTERN WORLD by Gary Lachman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"A sharp, engrossing book for open-minded readers."
A writer on esoteric and occult subjects looks at the people who influenced Western thought through theories of a "living, intelligent universe through which [individuals] could participate through…[the] imagination." Read full book review >
The Double Life of Laurence Oliphant by Bart Casey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"An engrossing portrait of an emblematic Victorian."
A rollicking biography of a classic 19th-century figure, featuring imperial adventure, high diplomacy, literary fame, and an eccentric cult focused on bizarrely sublimated sexuality. Read full book review >
Roberta's Boys by Ann Carlson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 7, 2015

"An account of the achievements of four African-American brothers; of interest primarily to Pitts family members."
Carson's book documents the ascent of four young African-American brothers during the early 20th century. Read full book review >
Black Sails White Rabbits by Kevin Hall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 2015

"An absorbing, informative exploration of bipolar disorder from the inside."
An Olympic sailing competitor recounts in this debut memoir that although testicular cancer was a challenge, bipolar disorder was even more so. Read full book review >
THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT by William E. Leuchtenburg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 3, 2015

"A top-notch historian brings together recondite research with felicitous prose. An excellent choice for students of 20th-century American history."
An acclaimed historian examines the American presidency from 1901 to 2001. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"A stronger authorial voice would have strengthened this book considerably."
Indomitable women, trapped in war. Read full book review >
FRANCIS BACON IN YOUR BLOOD by Michael Peppiatt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Initially, one fears this may be a crass exposé of the 'queer' life of the artist, but Peppiatt shows a deft hand in crafting an enthralling, delightful story of two very different men."
Peppiatt (Art Plural: Voices of Contemporary Art, 2014, etc.) delivers "the subjective story of two lives, focusing on the complex, volatile relationship that bound [Francis] Bacon and me together over…three decades."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 >