Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 2)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Fascinating to dip into casually and essential to students of the Kennedy administration, the Cold War, and late-20th-century world history."
Three months, 1,700 pages. But what months they were: a season in the midterm administration of John F. Kennedy marked by faltering polls, the aftermath of near nuclear war, and one crisis after another. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO INVENTED FICTION by William Egginton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Despite a lack of evidence proving cause and effect, Egginton's well-informed history of 16th-century Spanish life, politics, and culture makes for an engrossing read. He need not have insisted on sweeping claims for Cervantes' mind-changing influence."
A celebration of a beloved novel and its innovative author. Read full book review >

LIT UP by David Denby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An upbeat portrait of fine teachers and the students they inspire."
Teenagers encounter great books and dedicated teachers. Read full book review >
THE ICEBERG by Marion Coutts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A poetic and moving chronicle of loss."
A debut memoir about losing a husband to cancer. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Contains several memoirs in one: ambitious, relentless, and occasionally messy."
A detailed pursuit of the author's ancestors, from the South to the North. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A soulful memoir of adventure and one woman's love for her sled dogs."
Moderow briskly recounts her experiences in the brutally challenging Iditarod race, a journey that requires "passion, dedication to learning, and an immense amount of patience," not to mention "the collaboration of many beating hearts." Read full book review >
THE MOST WANTED MAN IN CHINA by Fang Lizhi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A wonderfully crafted memoir, shimmering with intellectual honesty."
A dissident astrophysicist who died in 2012 offers rare, revealing glimpses inside the opaque Chinese communist system. Read full book review >
EXIT RIGHT by Daniel Oppenheimer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Whether his subjects are viewed as champions or apostates, Oppenheimer's insightful narrative should inspire some soul-searching among political believers of every stripe."
"A political identity is always a negotiation, between what it demands and who we are," asserts freelance journalist Oppenheimer as he explores "the negotiation of specific left-wing identities…and how those negotiations fell apart." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A fresh look at Eleanor Roosevelt and a fascinating exploration of a cherished, mutually beneficial friendship."
A significant new exploration of the enormously important friendship between two activist crusaders in advancing the cause of civil rights for blacks and women. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Liberating reading for armchair adventurers."
A National Geographic explorer's account of the three years she spent trekking alone through wild and sparsely populated regions in Mongolia, China, Siberia, and Australia. Read full book review >
NATIVE by Sayed Kashua
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A wickedly ironic but humane collection."
A journalist and novelist's sharp-eyed take on his life as a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian in Jerusalem. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An optimistic and engagingly well-told life story that incorporates scientific investigation into its altruistic message."
A Stanford neurosurgeon and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education relates how to achieve lofty life goals by harnessing the power of both the brain and the heart. 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 >