Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 4)

THE LIVES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Robert S. Levine
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An astute, thorough literary study that will invite fresh readings of Douglass' writing."
A compelling scholarly study of the evolution of Frederick Douglass' thinking. Read full book review >
LIVING ON PAPER by Iris Murdoch
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An impressively edited, sharply revealing life in letters."
An intimate view of the prolific British novelist and philosopher. Read full book review >

POSTCARDS FROM STANLAND by David H. Mould
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"As a genial travel guide, Mould, an academic who doesn't write like an academic, shows how one should resist the temptations to stereotype a culture too easily and understand it too quickly."
An illuminating travelogue through Central Asia. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A deeply researched and nicely handled biography."
A study of the Founding Father encapsulating some of the early American values of industry, parsimony, and prudence. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Quigley's narrative of Terrell and her court case is especially relevant in the wake of numerous well-publicized killings of black citizens by police officers and the latest wave of black activism."
A retelling of the events leading up to the landmark civil rights Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., which invalidated segregated restaurants in the city in 1953.Read full book review >

EVERY LAST TIE by David Kaczynski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 29, 2016

"Powerfully provocative reading."
A mental health and anti-death penalty activist's deeply felt personal account of his brother, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. Read full book review >
25 WOMEN by Dave Hickey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 28, 2016

"Some readers will find cause for disagreement, but these fun-to-read essays delight, intrigue, and, most of all, educate."
Idiosyncratic assessments of contemporary women painters, sculptors, and installation and performance artists by an enfant terrible of art criticism.Read full book review >
SOUL SERENADE by Rashod Ollison
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Honest and painful. Readers inclined to lament their own circumstances may brighten up when considering the odds Ollison has overcome."
An elegiac look at a childhood marked by violence, dysfunction, poverty, sorrow—and plenty of good music. Read full book review >
OSTEND by Volker Weidermann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Evocative, sharply drawn portraits and a wry, knowing narrative voice make for an engrossing history."
A summer of sun for despondent exiles. Read full book review >
THE RIGHT WRONG MAN by Lawrence Douglas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An excellent legal-minded elucidation of the long trail toward the conviction of a notorious concentration camp guard. Pair with Richard Rashke's Useful Enemies (2013)."
Nailing a Nazi-era "faceless facilitator of murder." Read full book review >
THE COWSHED by Ji Xianlin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An ancillary but meaningful document of a time too little chronicled and now all but forgotten by younger Chinese people."
Scarifying account of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A provocative, well-told story of love at all costs and an incisive examination of the continued violation of women's rights in Afghanistan."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist's account of how two young Afghanis from warring ethnic clans risked disgrace and death to wed each other.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 >