Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 960)

THE SELF-PORTRAIT OF A LITERARY BIOGRAPHER by Joan Givner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Well written, and certainly tart and opinionated, but too narrow and small-scale, offering no riveting insights into writing or even just living."
Autobiography, like surgery, isn't for the fainthearted. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Not as thrilling as a Bird-McHale-Parish charge to the basket, but good enough for those who never saw—or who want to recapture—the real thing. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
Bill, Hillary, and Al? Read full book review >

THE PRINCES IN THE TOWER by Alison Weir
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"A fascinating historical whodunit in which truth is more sordid than fiction. (Eight pages of b&w photographs)"
The methods of a Mafia boss characterized the career of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who in the 15th century briefly ruled England as Richard III. Read full book review >
NICHOLAS II by Dominic Lieven
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"A rare balance of personal and political insight: timely and persuasive."
Lieven (a political historian at the London School of Economics whose specialty is imperial Russia: Russia's Rulers Before the Revolution, 1989, etc.—not reviewed) reinterprets the life and political significance of Nicholas II in light of the USSR's collapse. Read full book review >
TENNYSON by Peter Levi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Levi's tact, good sense, respectful insight, and talent for the telling detail would have won even the heart of Tennyson himself, whose special aversion was biographies."
Acknowledging his debt to Robert Bernard Martin's Tennyson (1980), Levi (formerly, Poetry/Oxford Univ.; The Frontiers of Paradise, 1988, etc.) dispels the biographical fog emitted by Tennyson descendants, apologists, and idolaters, and—in a relatively brief but penetrating analysis—reveals the man behind the icon, the poet laureate whose odd appearance and eccentric behavior distanced him from the intimacies his fame encouraged. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 31, 1993

"However Jeffords may stretch in some interpretations of individual films, she gives welcome new definition to the whole idea of the body politic. (Forty-two b&w photographs)"
Something new on the storied relation between Hollywood models and American culture in the Reagan years: an impressively documented, though frequently strained, argument that films like Rambo and Robocop rehearsed the same images of masculinity manufactured for the personal benefit of the era's leading politicians. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 12, 1993

"This glimpse behind the lipstick is a fitting wrap-up, then—one that brings depth and dimension to the body of Fisher's work."
Even fans of the late, bright gastronomic memoirist (d. 1992) might be tiring of all the tributes to her that have been gushing forth, as well as of the incidental jottings and recycled reminiscences by her that publishers have been serving forth during the past few years. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 9, 1993

"An admiring life that will remind readers that there's more to naval-aviation history than Top Gun and the Tailhook scandal. (Thirty-seven b&w photographs)"
A comprehensive biography of the guiding hand behind naval aviation, by Trimble (History/Auburn University). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 1993

"Some amusing anecdotes and much generous praise for her colleagues—but unfocused and meandering. (Includes a succinct, inspirational foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton) (Thirty-two pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
A personal but choppy overview of Boxer's 1992 fight for the US Senate—and of the races of other women who preceded or joined her there. Read full book review >
ASCENSION by Eric Nisenson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 3, 1993

"Coltrane'' than any other musician—but, unfortunately, he, too, generates more hot air than light."
An adulatory account of the musical achievements of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Read full book review >
GADAFFI by George Tremlett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 3, 1993

"Of some use but, overall, not a book to inspire full confidence as a source. (Photos)"
A potted revisionist biography of Gaddafi, by Tremlett (Dylan Thomas, 1992). Read full book review >
MARK MORRIS by Joan Acocella
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"By throwing a clear light on both the man and his gift, she endears Morris to us, allows us to respect him more, and gives us a greater understanding of both him and his art. (Forty-plus photos—not seen)"
Choreographer Mark Morris always elicits extreme reactions in audiences—but even those who hate, or are baffled by, his work can't deny that he's one of the most important creative figures in dance. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >