Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 94)

BLUE BLOOD by Edward Conlon
Released: April 12, 2004

"Crackling sharp—and utterly compelling."
A street-smart and hilarious memoir from Conlon, who takes readers behind the squad-room door to reveal the inner life of New York's Finest. Read full book review >
Released: April 6, 2004

"The straight stuff: sobering, eye-opening, and not all that sanguine."
A Texas journalist assembles and dissects the facts surrounding the 1998 death of David "Gypsy" Chain, an activist killed in California's Humboldt County Redwood forest when a logger felled a tree nearby. Read full book review >

Released: April 1, 2004

"Yeomanly treatment of a man who 'wanted desperately to make his fortune but was seduced by the quest for knowledge.' (65 b&w illustrations, 12 maps)"
Rich with incident and novelty, the life of a swashbuckler whose exploits and writings impressed generations of readers, including Darwin and Humboldt, though he's little remembered today. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2004

"A great story, deftly told."
The tale of the first European scientific expedition to South America and its extraordinary aftermath. Read full book review >
Released: March 29, 2004

"An eye-opening look at the intersection of art and political power."
A revealing portrait of the great composer Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75), who managed to keep skin and soul intact during the worst years of the Soviet terror. Read full book review >

Released: March 23, 2004

"What's gained here is the pleasure of watching exemplary reporting illuminate a fascinating crossroads of American popular art and commerce."
On the hundredth anniversary of the naming of Times Square, journalist Traub (City on a Hill, 1994, etc.) traces the colorful history of America's premier theater district and appraises its most recent makeover by Disney and other global corporate brands. Read full book review >
Released: March 5, 2004

"Bittersweet and beautifully written."
New York Times editor Torregrosa's debut recalls with rueful affection an unsettled childhood in a tropical paradise. Read full book review >
Released: March 2, 2004

"As drug-crazed, booze-swilling megalomaniacs go, Yetnikoff makes excellent company."
Yetnikoff, head of CBS Records Group from the mid-'70s through the '80s, looks back on his addled joyride at the top of the American music business. Read full book review >
FLIM-FLAM MAN by Jennifer Vogel
Released: Feb. 17, 2004

"Will haunt readers for days."
Heartbreaking, hard-boiled memoir of the author's late father, a liar and criminal she loved deeply. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 10, 2004

"Powerful, unsentimental, candid, and moving."
An impressive debut memoir of grief and growing up. Read full book review >
WASHINGTON’S CROSSING by David Hackett Fischer
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"A superb addition to the literature of the Revolution, by one of the best chroniclers in the business."
A lively reconstruction of the Continental Army's finest strategic hour. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"Powerful and evocative."
Poet and biographer Epstein (What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, 2001, etc.) brings insight from both his specialties to bear on two defining figures of the Civil War era. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >