Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 3)

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Thomas Fleming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2015

"Among historians, Jefferson's star has been falling for 50 years. Fleming's frank hostility puts him at the far end of the scale, but he makes a fascinating case that Jefferson's charisma—which peaked early with the Declaration of Independence—was accompanied by fanciful political beliefs that continue to exert a malign influence on the office of the presidency."
The camaraderie among America's Founding Fathers did not survive independence in 1783. Disagreement over the role of government grew into virulent antagonism, and that acrimony persists today. Prolific historian Fleming (A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War, 2013, etc.) delivers a vivid, opinionated history of this conflict.Read full book review >
GOLDENEYE by Matthew Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2015

"A well-written look at Fleming's life, though the book is even better as an indictment of the anachronistic colonialism of the 1950s and the end of the British Empire."
Parker (The Sugar Barons: Family, Corruption, Empire, and War in the West Indies, 2011, etc.) considers Ian Fleming's escape to Jamaica, where he created James Bond and did his best to avoid the high-society life that followed him there.Read full book review >

A GREAT AND TERRIBLE KING by Marc Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2015

"An elucidating though occasionally long-winded biography."
Richly contextual treatment of a pivotal Medieval English monarch who consolidated the British Isles, but at violent cost and future retribution. Read full book review >
B & ME by J.C. Hallman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"There are only occasional insights in this frenzied, unabashedly self-indulgent book."
Recounting a literary obsession. Read full book review >
BETTYVILLE by George Hodgman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Movingly honest, at times droll, and ultimately poignant."
A gay magazine editor and writer's account of how he returned home to the Midwest from New York to care for his aging mother. Read full book review >

CHASING LOST TIME by Jean Findlay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Findlay employs a vast family archive to bring this little-known writer to the fame he justly deserves, making readers want to turn back to Proust."
C.K. Scott Moncrieff (1889-1930) was a poet, war hero, spy and, above all, one of the world's greatest translators. Journalist Findlay reveals his natural, effortless writing talent in this story of her great-great uncle. Read full book review >
AMERICAN GHOST by Hannah Nordhaus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A thoughtful and intriguing chronicle of familial investigation."
A journalist's account of how she went in search of the true story behind her great-great-grandmother's life and ghostly reappearances almost a century after her mysterious death. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"An emotion- and action-packed story of the author's tenacious, dogged pursuit of his goals."
The story of one man's ability to rise above his physical disability to achieve his dreams. Read full book review >
MEET ME IN ATLANTIS by Mark Adams
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Fact or fiction, Atlantis, as the author ably demonstrates, still has the power to enthrall inquiring minds."
Fun, enthusiastic exploration of the fabled lost city of Atlantis and the fascinating group of diverse personalities who have dedicated their lives to proving its existence. Read full book review >
THE LAST UNICORN by William deBuys
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A riveting and disturbing account of the clash between the beauty of the wilderness and civilization's unrelenting demands on the natural world."
Dedicated conservationist deBuys (A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, 2011 etc.) undertakes an arduous trek through the wilds of central Laos in a quest to help save one of the most elusive animals on the planet, the large grazing mammal known as a saola.Read full book review >
NO SIMPLE HIGHWAY by Peter Richardson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Not quite as smartly conceived and written as Greil Marcus' Invisible Republic (1997), but a kindred book that helps locate an influential musical group in time and place."
Far-ranging look at the ultimate jam band in the acid-drenched context of their formative years. Read full book review >
MARK ROTHKO by Annie Cohen-Solal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A sure hit for fans of art history, and readers looking to understand modern art and especially abstraction will find this wonderfully enlightening."
Cohen-Solal's (Leo and His Circle: A Life of Leo Castelli, 2010, etc.) study of Mark Rothko (1903-1970) is notable for her ability to link his strong Jewish ties to his changing, evolving art. Her access to newly available archives enables her comprehensive portrait of the man.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >