Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

AN ORIGINAL MAN by III Clegg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"In all, though, this is both an outstanding biography and an important contribution to the history of the Nation of Islam. (16 pages b&w photos, maps, not seen)"
A meticulous, absorbing reconstruction of the life of the ``Messenger of Allah'' who led the Nation of Islam for more than four decades, until his death in 1975. Read full book review >
MAYE & FAYE'S BUILDING & LOAN by Maye Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Hooray for Maye and Faye, but their story, unfortunately, is a magazine article stretched too far. ($65,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Small-town values—integrity, responsibility, neighborliness, hard work—prevail in the success story of two sisters from West Virginia. Read full book review >

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLACK MAN by Henry Louis Gates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Thus, it's not the riddle of the title that finally counts as much as the 13 times 13 questions that Gates raises through these men: questions about interconnections and separations, to be addressed not just by other black men but by all Americans."
One of America's leading African-American intellectuals conducts conversations on blackness with famous black men. Read full book review >
AMERICAN INDIAN BALLERINAS by Lili Cockerille Livingston
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"But not one written by Livingston. (42 photos, not seen)"
A brief and unabashed celebration of the professional achievements of dancers Maria and Marjorie Tallchief (who are siblings), Rosella Hightower, and Yvonne Chouteau. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

An uncommon tale of brotherly love, and a passionate defense of the notion that dignity belongs as much to the mad as to the rest of us. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"The medium isn't the message here."
This celebration of media prophet Marshall McLuhan takes what the editors (who also produced a CD-ROM titled Understanding McLuhan) call a ``mosaic'' approach, a nonlinear concatenation of images and bits and pieces of text that ``inexorably echo, circle, and shift into one another.'' One feels Beneditti and DeHart have somehow missed the point in trying to force this nonlinear presentation into book form—print media being, according to McLuhan himself, the quintessential linear mode for passing information. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

A fascinating, complex, and highly charged saga of the decline of a family, a nation, and a way of life. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"Some of the book's tales are memorable, but the author's bias prevents this work from reaching its potential. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A romanticized, often frivolous view of a potentially rewarding subject. Read full book review >
MERRILL MARKOE'S GUIDE TO LOVE by Merrill Markoe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

"A fun romp through the sillier side of love, best savored in small does."
Markoe (How to Be Hap-Hap-Happy Like Me, 1994), a columnist and Emmy Awardwinning former writer for David Letterman, is like a sassy friend who's fun to spend time with—although maybe not too much time all at once. Read full book review >
AMERICAN SPHINX by Joseph J. Ellis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 31, 1997

"A thoughtful and respectful, but not worshipful, reassessment of the enduring meaning of Jefferson's life and work. (History Book Club main selection)"
In the latest of a spate of books on his legacy, Ellis (History/Mount Holyoke Coll.; Passionate Sage, 1993) argues that Thomas Jefferson was neither the saintly hero of myth nor the devious hypocrite depicted by some revisionist studies, but a protean character whose complex qualities evoke the best and worst aspects of our history and culture. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 29, 1997

"The source of the passion driving the Berrigans' deeds remains elusive, perhaps through no fault of the authors: The brothers, who confess to near-absolute certainty in their moral choices, harbor few of the doubts that help humanize and illumine most lives. (b&w illustrations, not seen)"
The story of two brothers and the turmoil, in the Catholic Church and American society, through which they have lived. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 29, 1997

"A bracing reminder from an exemplary teacher that life, a rare gift, must be savored in the living. (illustrations, not seen) ($150,000 ad/promo; TV satellite tour)"
From Sadie, the surviving Delany sister, an inspiriting testimony to love and faith as she recalls life with Bessie and the challenge of learning to live on without her. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >