Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 94)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2003

"An important, vindicatory contribution to music history, restoring Morton to the high station he deserves in American jazz. (16 pp. photos, not seen)"
Aided by a trove of uncovered historical documents, two veteran Chicago Tribune journalists sweep aside demeaning caricatures regarding the great jazz composer and pianist. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2003

"Fine slice of American military and revolutionary history—good for commodores in the making, too."
Sturdy, seaworthy life of the Scottish-born hero of the American Revolution, whom John Adams characterized as "the most ambitious and intriguing officer in the American Navy." Read full book review >

BLUE NOTE RECORDS by Richard Cook
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2003

"Opinionated, encyclopedic, un-self-consciously hip: the full drop on Blue Note. (8 pp. b&w photos)"
British Jazz Review editor Cook dissects the mystique of the record label that carried jazz's standard and reflected the music's larger culture. Read full book review >
ALWAYS WEAR JOY by Fales-Hill. Susan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2003

"A distinguished memoir as well as an important contribution to black cultural history."
Television writer/producer Fales-Hill recalls her mother, a Haitian-American musical legend who gave up her career for marriage, in one of those rare tributes that capture exactly what made someone widely loved and admired. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2003

"An invaluable contribution to the history of an unspeakably brutal century."
Newcomer Ansky takes us on a harrowing tour of blood-soaked ground: the Russian-Polish borderlands during the worst years of WWI. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2003

"Indispensable for understanding the role of secret intelligence in foreign policy and national defense."
Of spooks, spies, double agents, and Ivy League gentlemen who certainly did read each other's mail: former CIA director Helms revisits a long career doing Uncle Sam's shadow work. Read full book review >
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES by James Frey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2003

"Startling, at times pretentious in its self-regard, but ultimately breathtaking: The Lost Weekend for the under-25 set."
Frey's lacerating, intimate debut chronicles his recovery from multiple addictions with adrenal rage and sprawling prose. Read full book review >
READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN by Azar Nafisi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 8, 2003

"A spirited tribute both to the classics of world literature and to resistance against oppression."
So you want a revolution? If your foe is an ayatollah, try reading Jane Austen. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2003

"History as it should be: informative but also lively, thrilling, and hugely entertaining."
A vivid, dramatic account of conspiracy and murder in 15th-century Florence. Read full book review >
RETURN TO PARIS by Colette Rossant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2003

"Never was the kitchen a more welcome port in the storm, or more nurturing, than for the buffeted Rossant, who is a sympathetic character, and all the more so for her measure of pride. (Photographs)"
In a memoir fully deserving of its moodiness, food writer Rossant (Memoirs of a Lost Egypt, not reviewed) tells of her fitful, melancholy life before she married her husband of 47 years. Read full book review >
HIGH LATITUDES by Farley Mowat
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2003

"A fine slice out of Mowat time, along with the sound of voices so remote that they take your breath away and rouse your instinct to wonder—just as Mowat wished."
A 1966 journey across northern Canada, much of it above the Arctic Circle. Read full book review >
WHEN THE KING TOOK FLIGHT by Timothy Tackett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2003

"Exciting, provocative, instructive: popular history at its finest. (3 maps, 24 halftones and line illustrations)"
Tackett (History/Univ. of California, Irvine) describes the failed attempt by Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette to escape revolutionary France in June 1791, astutely assessing the consequences. 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 >