Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 973)

SEX DEATH ENLIGHTENMENT by Mark Matousek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 1996

"The surprise is that Matousek can get away with such New Age musings and make them seem utterly down to earth, even inspiring. (Author tour)"
A professional glamour hound ditches his thankless career in magazine journalism and goes on a circuitous quest for spiritual comfort in this surprisingly engrossing, cant-free memoir. Read full book review >
THE RANTS by Dennis Miller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 1996

Talk show host Miller (as in HBO's Dennis Miller Live) reconnoiters the sorry state of the nation with a gathering of raving, raging monologues. ``Now,'' he usually starts, ``I don't want to get off on a rant here,'' whereupon the sage of cable TV walks the walk and talks the talk. Read full book review >

EMERSON AMONG THE ECCENTRICS by Carlos Baker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"Although this group biography is less than the sum of its parts, the parts themselves remain deeply intriguing."
In his final, unfinished work, literary scholar Baker (Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story, 1969, etc.) views an eclectic collection of individuals through the lens of conventional scholarship. Read full book review >
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN AND HIS ENEMIES by Robert Middlekauff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"An original contribution to the extensive literature on Franklin."
In this unusual study of Benjamin Franklin's personal relationships, Middlekauff (History/Univ. of Calif., Berkeley; The Mathers, 1971, etc.) points out that the beloved American sage and statesman had enemies who hated him and whom he hated in return. Read full book review >
TRESPASSES by Howard Swindle
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"A remarkable insight into the minds of rape victims, and a brave attempt to study the darker recesses of violence and human sexuality."
Swindle, a Dallas Morning News editor, investigates the five- year rampage of the Ski Mask Rapist, a Dallas man still convinced that many of his attacks were seductions. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"These cavils apart, an absorbing and judicious reckoning on an innovative banker who viewed the world as his capitalistic institution's oyster."
A journalist's painstakingly thorough audit of Walter B. Wriston's stewardship at Citicorp, which he helped make into what is arguably the Global Village's most formidable and influential financial institution. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"A nearly edible travelogue—smooth as mousse, full of savory tidbits, and memorable."
In this thoroughly entertaining travel narrative, Clarke (Pearl Harbor Ghosts: A Journey to Hawaii Then and Now, 1991, etc.) takes the measure of the San Andreas fault, that 750-mile scar running head to foot through California, and finds residing along the crack a sideshow's worth of oddballs, shysters, and ugly memories. Read full book review >
MAN ENOUGH TO BE A WOMAN by Jayne County
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"County's lively memoir illuminates the original intermingling of gay and punk subcultures that's experiencing an energetic resurgence today. (2 b&w photo inserts)"
The memoirs of a '70s punk/drag sub-icon whose unique trajectory across the counterculture has supplied her with great troves of decadent gossip as well as novel insights into life as a transsexual. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"An absorbing look at President Clinton's attempt to govern at a time when a grassroots movement may be redefining the extent of federal power."
In the second installment of her narrative history of the troubles of the Clinton administration, Meet the Press commentator Drew (On the Edge, 1994) records the mounting tension between the Clinton White House and the leadership of the first Republican Congress in 40 years. Read full book review >
I LIVED TO TELL IT ALL by George Jones
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"Introspection is not the guiding force in this rags-to- excesses story. (32 pages photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
The life and times of a hard-livin' good ol' boy. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"Replete with compelling detail, this is a story of the magnetism of South Africa, of a troubled but tightly knit family, and of a woman who graduated from self-absorption to self- awareness in the swirling world of the theater."
The evocative autobiography of an actress born and bred in Johannesburg, whose mother found fulfillment in teaching her daughters—and other daughters of South Africa—the traditional dances of Scotland. Read full book review >
KING OF COMEDY by Shawn Levy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1996

"Marred only by a lack of a bibliography and footnotes, this scrupulous, skillful, incessantly fair account should go a long way toward restoring Lewis to his proper place in the entertainment firmament. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Put your mitts together for this ``sock'' biography of one of the last of the great entertainers. 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 >