Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1273)

THE DIARY OF A NAPOLEONIC FOOT SOLDIER by Jakob Walter
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"The text includes an appendix with six unrelated letters home (unearthed by a Soviet researcher in 1978) from six Westphalian conscripts serving in the Grand Army, plus 20 b&w engravings (not seen)."
As France's empire expanded during its postrevolutionary era, Napoleon began requiring vassal states to supply troops for his acquisitive causes. Read full book review >
BLOOD MEMORY by Martha Graham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"These brief memoirs can only enhance her reputation by helping us remember the human side of a creative giant."
``People have asked me why I chose to be a dancer. Read full book review >

EDWINA MOUNTBATTEN by Janet Morgan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"More informative than analytical, then, but a good read nonetheless."
A poignant biography of Edwina Mountbatten, a woman known for her glamorous friends, glittering prizes, and attainments, but one apparently born too early to fulfill her considerable abilities. Read full book review >
TRAPS, THE DRUM WONDER by Mel Torme
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A labor of love."
From jazz singer TormÇ (It Wasn't All Velvet, 1988, etc.)—an engaging warts-and-all life of the world's greatest drummer, Buddy Rich. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Excellent, hard-hitting history."
A bold, revisionist history of Earl Haig, British commander- in-chief during WW I. Using British records that became available only in the 1960's, and comparing them to uncensored versions available in Canada, Australia, and the US, Winter subjects the authorized British version of the war to devastating analysis. Read full book review >

WALKING WITH GARBO by Raymond Daum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A nice way to go. (Seventy-five b&w photographs.)"
Superb collection of Garbo photos along with a running monologue by Garbo—taken down by Daum (curator of the Gloria Swanson Archives at the Univ. of Texas, Austin)—and with a text by Muse (a Life magazine editor) that covers her history. Read full book review >
STALIN by Dmitri Volkogonov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Twenty-four pages of photographs—not seen)."
In this unrelenting biography, former Soviet Colonel General Volkogonov mines archives still closed to historians, interviews eyewitnesses—and presents perhaps the most intimate look to date at Stalin's monstrousness and his nation's complicity. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A remarkable and beautifully written book in which the rich stuff of family and local history join together to entertain, to instruct, and to move deeply."
Like the legendary stories his Newfoundland relatives told—stories that flowed back and forth, picking up after interruptions—Macfarlane offers a book in which personal memoir, history, and reflection on war all come together in one memorable, luminous whole. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 1991

"A valuable and illuminating addition to the literature on a wrenching two-front war. (Seventeen photographs—not seen.)"
A perceptive appraisal of General Maxwell Davenport Taylor (1901-87), whose public career affords the author (himself a former general) an opportunity to track high-level American decision- making and its consequences in Vietnam during the 1960's. Read full book review >
RAIN OF GOLD by Victor Villaseñor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 1991

"Perhaps not the definitive Hispanic family epic, but an inspiring, fast-paced tale with a simple, fable-like quality that's often surprisingly moving."
A writer of Mexican-American heritage (Jury, 1977) tells the engrossing saga of his family's immigration to, and subsequent life in, California in the wake of the Mexican revolution. Read full book review >
MARTHA by Agnes de Mille
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 26, 1991

"A must for fans of Graham's, de Mille's, dance- -indeed, anyone wanting a clear picture of a creative era that is fast drawing to a close. (Thirty-two pp. of b&w photos—not seen.)"
Eye-opening, riveting, enlightening, uplifting—Martha Graham's life and times seen through the discerning, appreciative eye of Agnes de Mille. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 26, 1991

"While the women in question exert a pull on the popular imagination, Smith's rewarmed capsule bios and shallow psychological speculation provide neither insight nor entertainment. (Photographs.)"
What quality do women who've had multiple attachments to famous men share? ``Ordinariness,'' theorizes Smith (Doctor's Wives, 1980, etc.) in this flimsy study: They're ``the kind of women you pass pushing shopping carts to the market.'' Famous men are concentrating emotional energy on their work, Smith says, so a woman ``who wishes to please such a man must practice tremendous self-denial...Her importance to him becomes her sole source of self-satisfaction.'' Fifteen case histories follow, put together from secondary sources and an occasional interview; few of the profiles bear out Smith's thesis. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >