Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 974)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Yet another treasure, noble and uplifting, from Britain's Victorian trove."
A thorough compilation of letters that sheds new light on the Scottish writer and minister (1824-1905), a seminal figure in modern fantastic literature. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"Akin to literary terrorism; those interested in a reasoned critique of the animal-rights movement should look at Vicki Hearne's Animal Happiness (reviewed above)."
An intemperate and ill-considered attack on the animal-rights movement by a founder of Putting People First, ``a national nonprofit organization that promotes human rights, animal welfare, and conservation.'' Marquardt's quarrel with animal-rightists began reasonably enough when, in 1990, her daughter was told by an animal-rights advocate that ``all hunters are murderers'' (`` `Mommy, she said you're a murderer,' cried my daughter Montana'')—a shock that prompted the author to launch PPF. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"The wispy anecdotal dicta here will do little to enhance the author's status as either a savvy pol or as an elder statesman worth heeding."
ClichÇd counsel from retired Speaker of the House O'Neill, whose short-take effusions here attest that brevity isn't necessarily the soul of wit—or wisdom. Read full book review >
ELVIS by John Parker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

``Dead or alive, the magic of Elvis lives on'' claims the original dust jacket of this British import, emblazoning the words above a close-up of the King—a deliciously ironic sentiment given that here, as in his earlier books, Parker (Prince Philip, 1991, etc.) does his best, none too successfully, to stir up mud. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"An absorbing matter-of-fact narrative that, for lack of interpretative perspectives, begs consequential ethical and moral questions. (Eight-page photo insert—not seen)"
An exhaustive recapitulation of how the US nailed Manuel Noriega, Panama's erstwhile strongman, on drug-trafficking and racketeering charges. Read full book review >

THE FUTURE LASTS FOREVER by Louis Althusser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

"A disturbing, demanding memoir that illustrates the alliance of genius and madness, the delusive clarity of which the insane are capable, and the enormous influence they can acquire over the thinking of others."
In a curiously lucid and compelling narrative, Althusser (1918-90), a distinguished neo-Marxist French intellectual, explains his life, philosophical career, politics, recurrent depressions, and therapies—and how, on the morning of November 16, 1980, he discovered that he'd strangled HÇläne, his wife and companion of 30 years. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >