Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1277)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 26, 1991

"Provocative revisionist history that could stimulate a widespread reevaluation of the traditional view of why America entered WW II. (Twenty-five b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Here, Thompson (Pledge to Destiny: Charles de Gaulle and the Rise of the Free French, 1974; Foreign Policy/Univ. of South Carolina) argues that FDR, greatly exceeding his executive powers, led a depressed, militarily weak, and traditionally isolationist America into WW II by forcing Germany and Japan to go to war with us. Read full book review >
CARL SANDBURG by Penelope Niven
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 22, 1991

Sandburg's long life (1878-1967) illustrates the great American success story: Emerging from an austere Swedish immigrant background, through work, discipline, clean living, and high thinking he achieved fame, love, power, and money, and was identified at his death, at age 89, with the voice of America. Read full book review >

JIMI HENDRIX by Harry Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 22, 1991

"You'll dig out the four albums Hendrix made before dying—and again find him a crackling wizard. (For a more musiculturally oriented view of Hendrix's life, see Charles Murray's Crosstown Traffic, 1990.) (Seventy-five b&w photographs, 16 pp. of color photographs—not seen.)"
Definitive biography of the giant of the electric guitar, who died in 1970 at age 27. Read full book review >
UNDER THE HAMMER by Richard Harton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 19, 1991

"Harton is an amusing writer with many lively tales to tell, but he often overplays his hand and his observations lack depth."
The fitfully entertaining adventures of an Englishman who enters the auction business expecting to find a hushed, cultured environment filled with fine gentlemen and women, and instead finds a quirky world peopled with myriad colorful characters. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 1991

"Provocative but unconvincing."
A highly speculative historical argument from Costello (Virtue Under Fire, 1986, etc.): that the flight of Hitler's aide Rudolf Hess to Britain in May 1941 was not the isolated act of a madman, but the result of a year of secret maneuvering between the Nazi regime and appeasement-minded members of Churchill's cabinet. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 1991

"A mercifully brief kitsch hodgepodge, with 16 pages of color and b&w photographs of Rose and his pals Pied-Pipering away."
In his biography of Jim Morrison (No One Here Gets Out Alive) and his own autobiography (Wonderland Avenue), Sugerman has previously waxed poetic about roads of excess leading to palaces of rock 'n'roll wisdom. Read full book review >
HICKORY WIND by Ben Fong-Torres
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 10, 1991

"A skillfully drawn portrait, tragic and absorbing. (Eight pages of photos—not seen.)"
Fong-Torres, 12 years an editor at Rolling Stone and currently feature writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, presents a richly detailed life of Gram Parsons—a musician who, although his records sold poorly and he died in 1973 at the age of 26, continues to be cited as a seminal influence by musicians as diverse as Emmy Lou Harris, Keith Richards, Tom Petty, and Elvis Costello. Read full book review >
MIA by Edward Z. Epstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 9, 1991

"Not in any sense a companion volume to Eric Lax's richly researched, intimate Woody Allen (p. 457). (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Uninspired life of the little-girl-lost actress, by the authors of Paul and Joanna, Brando, Loretta Young, Jane Wyman, etc., etc. Here's a book as shallow as any scissors-and-paste job, with as little fresh material. Read full book review >
HOLLYWOOD PRIEST by Ellwood E. Kieser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 9, 1991

"Honest and thoughtful, if not very exciting."
Kieser, a Catholic priest who produces movies and TV shows, earnestly reveals his personal struggle behind his work. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 3, 1991

"A fine, thoughtful biography of one of American legal history's most formidable intellects. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Baker (Miranda, 1983, etc.) presents a highly readable, scholarly biography of the distinguished and enigmatic jurist. Read full book review >
FINAL GIG by George Eells
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1991

"Young's charm, alcoholism, and the double-whammy ending should help this uninspired but competent book find readers."
The story of Gig Young, suave player of burned-out cases and a severely burned-out case himself; told smoothly by the author of bios of Ginger Rogers, Robert Mitchum, Mae West, and others. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1991

"A firsthand perspective on America's long secret war against Communism, rendered by one of its primary combatants. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A fast-paced, though often rigidly ideological, account of ``covert operations'' by a 40-year veteran of the intelligence battles of the cold war. 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 >