Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 978)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Though no doubt quite sincere, this reads more like historical romance than a voyage of self-discovery."
Turgid past-life regression story in which the author claims to find herself through exploring her former existence as King Arthur's queen and would-be successor in fifth century Britain. Read full book review >
MEDIA MARATHON by Erik Barnouw
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"If Barnouw's book misses an overall theme or meditation, it is saved by his deep knowledge and intimate, jargon-free style. (30 b&w photos, not seen)"
A compact companion to his monumental History of Broadcasting in the United States (not reviewed, etc.), Barnouw's spry and episodic selection of personal experiences covers a multimedia career ranging from musical revues and radio shows to TV and books. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Brent's story reads like a novel concocted to take readers inside the mind of a black revolutionary and revolutionary Cuba; that it is true makes it an important chronicle of our times."
Brent's riveting memoirs of his odyssey through memorable times, from a Louisiana sharecropper's shack to exile in Cuba. Read full book review >
JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF THE FLIES by Aldo Buzzi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Hopefully, this volume will represent but one of many of his writings to become available in English translation."
Erudition and wit characterize these travels into the past with an Italian publisher, writer, gourmand, and lover of women. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Kipps fails to objectively question Maher's motivation and actual role in these adventures: Is he a dutiful bounty hunter or a lowlife snitch? (First serial to Penthouse)"
This overheated, romanticized account may be stretching things a bit too far in attempting to portray police informer Kevin Maher as a modern-day bounty hunter. Read full book review >

BALKAN ODYSSEY by David Owen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Essential reading for historians and serious students of both the Balkan crisis and diplomacy in the postCold War world. (Author tour)"
The British coauthor of the failed Vance-Owen peace plan for the former Yugoslavia provides a personal and opinionated chronicle of his endeavors to reach a peace, laying primary blame on the Americans for pursuing a policy of ``power without responsibility.'' Lord Owen, a seasoned and maverick politician, had faced many challenges in his career prior to accepting Cyrus Vance's request in 1992 to cochair peace negotiations for the former Yugoslavia. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"It does, however, convey with remarkable immediacy one man's wartime anguish and is valuable for what it reveals about human nature during times of extreme duress. (map and 9 photos, not seen)"
The story of a Polish Jew who faced moral as well as emotional anguish in the Holocaust, told in his own tortured words. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"In Salvatore's account, we get a glimpse of the private poet in all his wide mystery. (32 pages illustrations, not seen)"
In this biography based on the newly discovered journals of Amos Webber, Cornell historian Salvatore has given us a fascinating, enigmatic figure of 19th-century black American history. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"This testimonial to the capacity of the human spirit to resist, to endure, and eventually to overcome oppression may well prove to be a key document of South African history. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A sprawling biography of one of the people whom history usually forgets: an illiterate black South African sharecropper who lived out his days under apartheid. Read full book review >
THE STEVENSONS by Jean H. Baker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"Baker writes with sympathy and considerable vigor, and this fine biography takes a refreshingly long view of an important figure in recent political history."
A wide-ranging biography of perennial also-ran Adlai Stevenson which demonstrates that character is destiny. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Five-time Emmy Award winner Franken (formerly of Saturday Night Live) becomes a political pundit with a vengeance—a vengeance directed against Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, and others of similar stripe, as well as fat old Rush. Read full book review >
THE DIARIES OF SYLVIA TOWNSEND WARNER by Claire Harman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

"With deft editing, Harman, her biographer, has both illuminated Warner's day-to-day existence and allowed the woman's vitality and grandeur to speak for themselves."
A richly rewarding view of an unconventional woman's eloquence, intellect, and passion over the course of five decades. 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 >