Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 960)

THE DREAM PALACE OF THE ARABS by Fouad Ajami
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 25, 1998

"For those seeking a better understanding of the whys and wherefores of modern Arab life, this book is a beautifully written, insightful overview."
A noted Middle Eastern author takes an intriguing historical, psychological, and literary trip through the political polemics that have marked much of life in the region for the last 25 years. Read full book review >
A DUBLIN GIRL by Elaine Crowley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 25, 1998

"A childhood affectingly told, though without sufficient intimacy."
This memoir of a Dublin girlhood is well written but lacks immediacy. Read full book review >

NELSON MANDELA by Martin Meredith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 23, 1998

"Not only a moving record of a man whose courage and conviction was so splendidly vindicated by events, but an exemplary work of biography: instructive, illuminating, as well as felicitously written. (b&w illustrations)"
A new, comprehensive biography of South Africa's leader achieves that rare distinction of making both the man and his times come vibrantly alive in a work that is notably incisive and perceptive. Read full book review >
GOOD SPIRITS by Edgar M. Bronfman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 23, 1998

"While this is utterly harmless stuff, the book is likely to be of interest to only a small circle of readers."
A sequel of sorts to The Making of a Jew (1996). Read full book review >
THE CONVICT AND THE COLONEL by Richard Price
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 23, 1998

"In the end, reading this book is like viewing a work of abstract modern art: You're not quite sure what it all means, but you have no doubt that something profound is in there somewhere."
A subtle, personal, and possibly overburdened interpretation of colonialism's recent impact on Martinique. Read full book review >

SLAVES IN THE FAMILY by Edward Ball
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 20, 1998

"Together, their searing, soul-searching grappling with past sins strikes deep at the heart of the country's enduring racial division. (First serial to the New Yorker)"
A journalist's exhaustively researched, intensely personal quest confronts the legacy of slavery connecting his South Carolina family and the people they enslaved. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 18, 1998

"Intelligent, well-meaning, not without merit—but so drab compared to its vivid subjects. (8 pages b&w photos) (Author tour)"
An earnest attempt by the well-known scholar (Women, Culture, and Politics, 1989, etc.) and activist to see three great African-American singers as part of a black feminist tradition. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 1998

"While maddeningly written, with many scattershot and unsupportable observations, not a few firmly in the politically incorrect camp, this is quite a story of one of the last great figures of the colonial age. (7 maps, 10 illustrations)"
In this, the old Africa hand's final book, completed by his wife, Fiona, after his death in 1996, Capstick assembles an admiring and often circuitous biography from the diaries of a lethal and daring soldier of the late British Empire and hunter extraordinaire. Read full book review >
THE TANGIER DIARIES, 1962-1979 by John Hopkins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 1998

"It would be cold and gray, but at least he'd be closer to the English-language publishing worldwithout having to return to America. (photos, not seen)"
A writer's perfunctory yet absorbing diary of his life in Tangiers. Read full book review >
VENDETTA! by William B. Breuer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 13, 1998

"Relying on American sources, including government documents and interviews with former spooks, Breuer adds some interesting tidbits to this often rehashed period of the Cold War. (17 photos, not seen)"
A specialist in highlighting the drama in espionage and war, Breuer (Shadow Warriors, 1996, etc.) chronicles the escalating clash between President John F. Kennedy and Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. Read full book review >
THE QUEST FOR GRAHAM GREENE by W.J. West
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 12, 1998

"While Greene aficionados anticipate Sherry's next volume, West supplies them with some tantalizing points and leaves open many, many questions. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An occasionally enticing if episodic inquest into Greene's lifelong balancing act on ``the dangerous edge of things'' (his favorite Browning quote). Read full book review >
THE FACTORY OF FACTS by Luc Sante
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 11, 1998

"Beyond its Belgian grayness and fascinating specificity, Sante's shrewd and lyrical treatise on the past speaks to us all."
The elegance, originality, and humor of Sante's new book provide a deeply satisfying reading experience. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >