Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 7)

PRIMO LEVI'S RESISTANCE by Sergio Luzzatto
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A book for Levi completists and students of the Italian Resistance. Luzzatto provides a decent picture of the Italian character, the wide variance of political parties, and the dedication of the people to their country."
Luzzatto (History/Univ. of Turin; Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age, 2010, etc.) combines his obsessions with Primo Levi (1919-1987) and the Italian Resistance.Read full book review >
CITY OF THORNS by Ben Rawlence
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A significant, timely, and gloomy tale that reveals the human costs of a growing world crisis."
Former Human Rights Watch researcher Rawlence (Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War, 2012) tells the distressing story of Kenya's vast Dadaab refugee camp, where nearly 500,000 people fleeing civil war in nearby Somalia live in a "teeming ramshackle metropolis" the size of Atlanta.Read full book review >

STORIES I TELL MYSELF by Juan F. Thompson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Shows clearly the occasional horrors of living with a substance-abusing celebrity but is also suffused with filial love and regret."
The son of the legendary gonzo journalist recalls his turbulent but exciting years swimming in the wake of a most mercurial creature. Read full book review >
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S JOURNEY by T.H. Breen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An unconvincing attempt to read extraneous political agendas into the first president's fact-finding tours."
An examination of the first presidential road trips. Read full book review >
MY CONFECTION by Lisa Kotin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Full of finely sifted detail but uneven."
Actor and performance artist Kotin bravely reveals just how powerful sugar addiction can be. Read full book review >

THE THREE BATTLES OF WANAT by Mark Bowden
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Readers of Bowden's work are assured of honest, straightforward, painstakingly researched essays."
Collected magazine articles and essays by wide-ranging journalist Bowden (Writer in Residence/Univ. of Delaware; The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, 2012, etc.).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 >
BIG GIRL by Kelsey Miller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An anti-diet diet book that offers perhaps too much food for thought."
A hard-core dieter pokes fun at herself and the diet industry while trying to overcome her own food obsessions. Read full book review >
THE SOUND OF GRAVEL by Ruth Wariner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An unsentimental yet wholly moving memoir."
A high school Spanish teacher's memoir about a peripatetic, often turbulent childhood and adolescence spent among fundamentalist Mormons. Read full book review >
ANYTHING THAT BURNS YOU by Terese Svoboda
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A revealing, though at times overly detailed, portrait."
A passionate defender of the poor and oppressed receives a full-length biography. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Organizers will find much of this helpful and instructive, but for lay readers, it preaches to the choir."
A radical activist handbook reinforces the adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A slight, breezy memoir that delves into serious subjects."
A dying mother puts a middle-aged humorist more in touch with his own mortality. 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 >