Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 956)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"One wishes that Schmuhl had exercised a bit more restraint and foresight as editor, because the sum of this collection does not do justice to the richness of its parts."
The perils of posthumous editing have struck this anthology of presidential scrutinizing by America's premier pundit (Nine Scorpions in a Bottle, 1994, etc.), who died in 1992. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Probably therapeutic for the author, riveting for the social voyeur, and mildly illuminating for the student of family pathology. (First serial to the New Yorker)"
A dreamlike memoir of the violence and sexuality underlying a well-planned family landscape, its statuary nooks and architectural crannies filled with secrets. Read full book review >

AUDREY HEPBURN by Barry Paris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Still, all the facts are in the proper places, pleasantly displayed, and easily accessible, and that's more than can be said for most show-biz bios. (b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Vanity Fair; Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
An extended valentine to an actress we've all fallen in love with at least once. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Useful to those interested in the history of women, cooking, or publishing; but it is Mendelson's obvious interest in her project that makes this a good read. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A winning account of the life of one of America's standard cookbooks, with portraits of the mother and daughter who brought it into millions of homes. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"O'Brien makes a well-argued revisionist contribution to the literature on Jefferson."
Irish scholar and former diplomat O'Brien (Ancestral Voices, 1995, etc.) examines two dark sides of the Jeffersonian legacy: his enthusiasm for the French Revolution, and his support for the slave-based Southern economy. Read full book review >

JOHN MARSHALL by Jean Edward Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Borders on hagiography, but learned and readable. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A well-written biography of our most influential jurist. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"32 pages b&w photos, not seen). (First serial to Vanity Fair)"
The riveting adventure of a red-haired country girl who became, in Smith's characterization, the last of the great courtesans and an internationally recognized diplomat. Read full book review >
MY SERGEI by Ekaterina Gordeeva
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Here the 25-year-old widow tells their story with a naive simplicity and innocence, lacking the womanly grace that embodied her love when she was on the ice with her husband. (16 pages color photos and 40 b&w photos) (Literary Guild alternate selection; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate)"
The jacket of this memoir seems to promise a fairy tale, as does the simple title. Read full book review >
EROS, MAGIC, AND THE MURDER OF PROFESSOR CULIANU by Ted Anton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"Murder, passion, and politics as the fascinating true story of one Romanian-born academic's postmodern rise and fall."
Blood in the ivory tower: a real-life thriller about postCold War espionage, an unsolved murder, and the occult. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"This volume will be of considerable interest to students of the Civil War. (32 pages b&w photos and maps, not seen) (Author tour)"
An ably edited collection of letters revealing life on the Civil War home front. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"An authoritative briefing on a great general. (8 pages photos, maps, not seen)"
An absorbing biography of Vietnam's ranking soldier-statesman and, arguably, one of military history's greatest captains, from a scholar who gained direct access to him. Read full book review >
BEHIND BLUE EYES by Geoffrey Giuliano
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1996

"A confused, contradictory, and unrevealing work. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Riddled with inconsistencies, this overlong and occasionally self-serving biography of the Mod rock satyr offers little about its subject that fans don't already know. 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 >