Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 978)

ON THE EDGE by Elizabeth Drew
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Drew's insightful account of an increasingly paralyzed presidency raises questions about the viability of American government that go beyond the fate of the Clinton administration."
Distinguished essayist and ``Meet the Press'' commentator Drew (Election Journal, 1989, etc.), relying heavily on firsthand interviews with senior White House officials, paints a vivid portrait of a presidency in turmoil. Read full book review >
A TREMOR OF BLISS by Paul Elie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Valuable for inspiration, but also for information—the details of the lives and deaths of many saints are here, refracted through 20 idiosyncratic, often powerful points of view."
Lambent prose and a general lack of self-indulgence characterize these essays on the Catholic canon of saints. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Twenty-five years after its author's death, this is by no means a cutting-edge work—but this great thinker's ruminations on his predecessors have a timeless quality to them."
Rigorous yet readable notes, sketches, and articles that round out a four-volume panorama of the philosophical pantheon. Read full book review >
HAPPY TRAILS by Roy Rogers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Although they chronicle the untimely deaths of three other offspring (one a Down's syndrome baby, another killed in a car crash, a third done in by a drinking bout with fellow enlisted men), the tone is generally upbeat and sweet—but not too sweet. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Pop-culture enthusiasts Jane and Michael Stern (Way Out West, 1993, etc.) are the perfect coauthors for the popular cowboy/cowgirl couple, stars of movies, radio, and TV during the 1940s and '50s. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Not as rich as Joe Wood's collection, Malcolm X: In Our Own Image (not reviewed), but useful for serious students."
An intriguing but uneven essay on the enduring influence and image of Malcolm X, by the author of Reflecting Black (not reviewed). Read full book review >

HARRY S. TRUMAN by Robert H. Ferrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"An incisive study of a gutsy underdog who rose to the occasion."
An estimable biography that portrays Truman, the patron saint of beleaguered pols, as an ordinary American but an extraordinary president. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"In the interim, however, this serves as a fine introduction to a stimulating thinker whose influence continues to rise as therapy becomes more pragmatic and less dogmatic."
Eminently useful, although somewhat contradictory, this admiring intellectual biography of an iconoclastic psychoanalyst recapitulates the strengths and weaknesses of its subject's thought. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Though hardly groundbreaking, this collection of interviews presents an engrossing portrait of Nixon and his troubled administrations."
In the manner of their oral history of JFK's administration (Let Us Begin Anew, 1993), the Strobers present a vast miscellany of musings about Nixon and his administration by insiders, Cabinet members, and other contemporaries. Read full book review >
THE UNEMPLOYED FORTUNE-TELLER by Charles Simic
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

In this short collection of essays (some previously published in Antaeus and other literary reviews), Pulitzer Prizewinning poet Simic (Hotel Insomnia, 1992, etc.) brings off a masterfully casual beauty, whether discussing the creation of poetry and the poet's social role, praising food and the blues, or relating the travails of youth. Read full book review >
NAME DROPPING by Barnaby Conrad
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"About as entertaining as a hangover. (12 line drawings, not seen)"
Conrad (Time Is All We Have, 1986) tries in vain to recapture the heady days at the San Francisco bar he opened in 1953 with the proceeds from his best-selling novel, Matador. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 31, 1994

"Nothing really new here, but a vivid recreation of a great period and a seminal company in popular music. (Author tour)"
A substantive, reasonably candid memoir from the founder of Detroit's legendary Motown Records, creator of the soundtrack of the '60s. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 25, 1994

"Ablow speculates and opines freely, but Kappler, who refused to be interviewed, remains a dark mystery."
A mostly unsuccessful attempt to fathom the psyche of a doctor who claimed that voices often directed his bizarre behavior. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >