Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 2)

POOR YOUR SOUL by Mira Ptacin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Beautifully written, at just the right emotional pitch. Of interest to all readers but likely to find a home among bereaved mothers."
An unexpectedly hopeful, but never mawkish, tale of love and loss. Read full book review >
ONE BREATH by Adam Skolnick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A worthy addition to the growing body of literature on adventures that test the limits of nature and mankind."
A fatality spurs an inquiry into an extreme sport, illuminating the risks—as well as the rewards—of free diving. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A ghastly, dizzying descent into the coldblooded clannishness of the Southern racist mindset."
A dogged pursuit takes a journalist into uncomfortable corners of her Southern family's complicity in a small-town lynching. Read full book review >
MARGARET THATCHER by Charles Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Moore will probably not change minds about the Iron Lady, but readers inclined to be as fair-minded as he will find much of interest in his account of her years in power."
British historian/writer Moore delivers the second volume in his authorized biography of the pioneering—and divisive—prime minister. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A beautifully rendered work wrought with enormous care and sense of compassionate dignity."
An intimately detailed look at the agony of a Japanese-American family struggling to maintain American loyalty amid discrimination and war. Read full book review >

MAGGIE SMITH by Michael Coveney
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"An authoritative and perceptive portrait."
The illustrious career of "a great stage actress in both comedy and tragedy, and an international film star." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"First-rate reporting and erudition underlie this successful effort to re-establish the reputation of an indispensable scientist."
A United States Geological Survey scientist returns with a rich account of one of his predecessors: Thomas Jaggar (1871-1953), a somewhat forgotten pioneer in volcanology. Read full book review >
EISENHOWER'S ARMIES by Niall Barr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A detailed, entertaining history of a successful, if bumpy, military alliance."
Anglo-American cooperation during World War II worked, more or less. 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 >
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 >
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 >
BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Memoirs by rock icons of the 1960s and '70s are flying fast and furious these days. This is one of the best, lively and memorable. Check the new album that accompanies the book, too."
Understated but revealing memoir by the long-absent but still much-played pop star. 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 >