Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 5)

THE VIOLET HOUR by Katie Roiphe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 8, 2016

"Never overly sentimental, this is a poignant and elegant inquiry into mortality."
How five artists dealt with that carriage that kindly stopped for them. Read full book review >
CHARLOTTE BRONTË by Claire Harman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 2, 2016

"A delightfully engaging biography of a highly talented but deeply troubled prodigy of English literature."
Accomplished biographer Harman (Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World, 2010, etc.) returns with a lively account of the life of Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855).Read full book review >

THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN by Timothy Egan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A fascinating, well-told story by an author fully committed to his subject. Egan's impeccable research, uncomplicated readability, and flowing narrative reflect his deep knowledge of a difficult and complex man."
The story of Thomas Meagher (1823-1867), an Irishman radicalized by the famine who became a hero on three continents. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A must-read for military buffs and a should-read for anyone who has given even a cursory thought to the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq."
The search for the story behind an IED death leads to the history of the post-9/11 wars and the lives of the men and women who fight them. Read full book review >
TROUBLE BOYS by Bob Mehr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"The dynamic that made the band great also tore them apart, as this biography superbly documents."
An in-depth biography of a beloved, exasperating band that never quite made it. Read full book review >

IMBECILES by Adam Cohen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A shocking tale about science and law gone horribly wrong, an almost forgotten case that deserves to be ranked with Dred Scott, Plessy, and Korematsu as among the Supreme Court's worst decisions."
Attorney, journalist, and bestselling author Cohen (Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America, 2009, etc.) revisits an ugly chapter in American history: the 1920s mania for eugenics.Read full book review >
THE PROFITEERS by Sally Denton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Filled with stories of cronyism and influence peddling, Denton's riveting and revealing book will undoubtedly displease the so-called 'boys from Bechtel,' who refused to talk to Denton, referring her to the company website."
Investigative journalist Denton (The Plots Against the President: FDR, A Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right, 2012, etc.) offers an ambitious "empire biography" of the Bechtel family and the secretive, privately held construction company-turned-diversified international conglomerate that has been "inextricably enmeshed" in U.S. foreign policy for seven decades. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Far less edifying than the Constitutional Convention but equally crucial, the colorful machinations of our first Congress receive a delightful account that will keep even educated readers turning the pages."
While the Constitution outlined the theory of our nation, the obstreperous first Congress converted it to reality. It was not a pretty picture, and popular historian Bordewich (America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union, 2012, etc.) delivers an entertaining description of how "it transmuted the Constitution from a paper charter and a set of hopeful aspirations into the machinery of a functioning government."Read full book review >
IN OTHER WORDS by Jhumpa Lahiri
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An honest, self-deprecating, and very moving account of a writer searching for herself in words."
In a perfectly titled memoir, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist chronicles her efforts to learn and write Italian. 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

"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 >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >