Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 973)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

This quirky combination of autobiography, politics, and investment advice leaves the impression that being (and becoming) wealthy is pretty interesting work. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"The book's obvious title, already used for a Monk documentary, is a perfect tipoff that Gourse has little to say about her subject that is imaginative or useful. (photos, not seen)"
A ramshackle biography of the legendary jazz innovator. Read full book review >

THE FINAL ACT by Gregor Dallas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A gripping and highly original work of popular history. (50 illustrations, 3 maps, not seen)"
A broad, colorful, engaging panorama of a crucial moment in the shaping of modern Europe, tracing the fall of Napoleon and the wily maneuvers of the victors to carve up his collapsed empire. Read full book review >
COUSINS by Athol Fugard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Good enough to intrigue Fugard's admirers, but not good enough to draw in anyone else. (photos, not seen)"
Memories of two male relatives whom the noted South African playwright believes helped inspire him to write, mingled with bittersweet recollections of his youth, in a poignant but underdeveloped memoir. Read full book review >
ARCHIBALD COX by Ken Gormley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Otherwise, this well-written biography will be of most interest to students of law in the public interest. (b&w photos, not seen)"
The jurist who gave Richard Nixon fits receives his due in a satisfying biography. Read full book review >

WOUNDS OF PASSION by bell hooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Only a writer as good and determinedly idiosyncratic as hooks could have produced a book as misguided as this."
In her 15th book, hooks continues the memoir she began in Bone Black (1996). Read full book review >
GENERAL ALEXANDER LEBED by Alexander Lebed
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

This memoir—by the general brought in to enable Yeltsin to win the last election—is thoughtful and clear-eyed on military matters, but on politics it sounds like the officers' mess after midnight. Read full book review >
BRIGHT PARADISE by Peter Raby
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Importantly, Raby shows how the works of the explorers shaped a new Darwinian and colonialist worldview, one that remains mighty influential in the modern imagination. (8 pages illustrations and maps)"
A lucid and lively survey of Victorian explorers from Raby (English/Homerton College, Cambridge). ``For the English in the nineteenth century, abroad, and especially the Empire and the colonies, existed to bring things back from,'' notes Raby in a neat introductory capsulization. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"While testing the general reader's patience at times, this should prove an exhaustive resource for intellectual historians and a fitting foundation myth for future Africanists to look back to. (36 b&w photos, 8 maps, not seen) (Author tour)"
The genial but almost overwhelmingly painstaking autobiography of a founding figure in the field of African history. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A vibrant natural (and human) history of a biomassive throughway where large patches still remain unknown. (2 maps, not seen)"
The unique evolutionary story of the species-rich Central American land bridge is eloquently chronicled by Wallace (The Quetzal and the Macaw, 1992, etc.). Read full book review >
DAUGHTER OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA by Jacki Lyden
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Lyden memorably illuminates both the alluring fantasy and the shocking reality of madness in a volume filled with poetry and awe. (First printing of 50,000; $50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Three powerful women form the backbone of this beautifully written narrative about the wish, both rational and not, to be elsewhere: crusty, earthy Mabel; her daughter Dolores, the self- styled Queen of Sheba in her manic visions; and the author, Dolores's daughter, a reporter for NPR. Read full book review >
VIGIL by Alan Shapiro
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Has its moments, both sad and profound, but as a memoir of a sister's life and death, it's far outclassed by Richard Stern's 1995 A Sistermony."
Award-wining poet Shapiro, whose first memoir, The Last Happy Occasion (not reviewed) was highly acclaimed, wrenches all he can from this chronicle of his sister's death from breast cancer. 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 >