Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 1295)

RIDING THE WHITE HORSE HOME by Teresa Jordan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"A sensitive, colorful series of contemplations, ultimately more impressionistic than cohesive but still a valuable rendering of family life and ranching in the American West. (Ten pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A heartfelt tribute to the Wyoming family ranch on which Jordan (Cowgirls, 1982) was raised, and to the hardy people who chose that difficult way of life. Read full book review >
EISENHOWER AND SPUTNIK by Robert A. Divine
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"A fine depiction of a homespun chief executive who maintained control and a levelheaded wisdom in the face of powerful and diverging political and economic forces."
A lucid analysis of how Russia's unpredicted space-race breakthrough affected, and was handled by, the nation's 34th President. Read full book review >

THING OF BEAUTY by Stephen Fried
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"A refreshingly undazzled take on the daily workings of the fashion scene. (First serial to Vanity Fair)"
Investigative journalist Fried's biography of model-turned- heroin-addict Gia Carangi is more than your usual riches-to-rags downer, thanks to fascinating fashion-biz detail. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"Tabloidism on a giant scale: hot revelations, breathless prose, and a sleazy story that slows only near the end, as a burnt-out Hill drags herself across Europe. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen.) (Film rights to Lorimar)"
Edmonds, having unlocked the closets of Fatty Arbuckle (Frame- Up!, 1990) and Thelma Todd (Hot Toddy, 1989), continues as the Kitty Kelley of dead Hollywood celebs in this superbly researched, highly sensationalized bio of Virginia Hill. Read full book review >
JAZZMAN by Robert Hilbert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"Once underway, tremendously entertaining."
From the president of the International Society of Jazz Record Collectors: a life of great jazz clarinetist Pee Wee Russell (1909- 69), who cut the figure of a legendary drinker and inspired player but who during his life was at once reviled for incompetence and respected for genius. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"MPSLUGetc); still, an entertaining, informative history that doubles as a solid guide to the nature of magnetism and electricity. (Sixteen halftones, seven line drawings.)"
Using the story of magnetism as his framework, Verschuur (The Invisible Universe, 1986—not reviewed) discusses—from the vantage point of a committed propagandist for the scientific method—our historical journey from superstition to physics. Read full book review >
REMEMBERING DENNY by Calvin Trillin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"Perhaps more appropriate as one of Trillin's shorter New Yorker pieces—but, still, a fine meditation on one life's aborted promise, the crippling burden of anticipated success, and the mysteries of the human heart."
In a memoir on an uncharacteristically somber subject, Trillin (American Stories, 1991, etc.) traces the life of his college friend Roger ``Denny'' Hansen: Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholar, possessor of charm and good looks to spare—and, at age 55, a suicide victim. Read full book review >
THE LIFE OF ISAAC NEWTON by Richard S. Westfall
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"An altogether admirable job of scholarship, whose weightiness is balanced by the surfacing, from time to time, of Westfall's dry humor. (Six halftones; nine line drawings.)"
A condensed version of Westfall's 1981 biography of Newton, Never at Rest (priced at $100 and not reviewed), that nevertheless displays a high level of scholarship and detail. Read full book review >
THE PRESIDENCY OF JAMES EARL CARTER, JR. by Burton I. Kaufman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"The question never dealt with here is whether Carter's traditional honesty and ethics simply were out of tune with a nation preferring to avoid energy reform, the legacy of Vietnam, and the implications of Watergate—a nation waiting for Ronald Reagan."
Jimmy Carter as failed President. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH BACON CUSTER AND THE MAKING OF A MYTH by Shirley A. Leckie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

Leckie (History/University of Central Florida) deftly discerns Elizabeth Custer's central role in the making of the Custer legend, thus simultaneously celebrating a strong woman and deflating a frontier hero. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"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)"
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. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1993

"A tense and riveting account that neatly balances courtroom drama with fascinating glimpses into Darrow's enigmatic conscience. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
A revisionist study of Clarence Darrow in which Cowan, an attorney and historian (See No Evil, 1979; UCLA), concludes that the legendary lawyer—despite being acquitted in 1912 of the charge—did indeed try to bribe a jury in a criminal case. 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 >