Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 982)

TOO RICH by Pony Duke
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Coarse and clichÇd biography of another poor little rich girl, whose passions were orchids, animals, jazz, and sex, not necessarily in that order. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Poor Doris—to have a biographer who begins his narrative, ``I never loved my godmother, Doris Duke. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Passionate and absorbing, this leaves one wondering: Why is there no national monument honoring John Quincy Adams? (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
One might expect a voluminous, minutely detailed narrative of parliamentary maneuvers on the floor of the 24th through 28th Congresses (183545) to be tedious. Read full book review >

MISSISSIPPI by Anthony  Walton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"As for the rest, Walton adds little to our understanding of the pressing tensions between blacks and whites. (12 photos, not seen)"
A young black journalist returning to find his roots in Mississippi makes the unsurprising discovery that circumstances there have been generally unfavorable to African-Americans. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 1995

"Although less than striking in literary terms and too self- consciously preoccupied with the overworked theme of healing, this nevertheless offers unforgettable insight into the lasting emotional damage that war inflicts on women and children especially—a subject of acute interest today."
This feminist, literature-as-therapy memoir offers a disturbing and timely commentary on the fate of women in war. Read full book review >
LOVE AND SAINT AUGUSTINE by Hannah Arendt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 1995

"A revelation that may force us to reconsider the traditional interpretation of Arendt's work."
Now published in English for the first time, Arendt's 1929 doctoral dissertation offers insights into her later political and philosophical constructions. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 1995

"The beautiful music here involves the lives orchestrated, and in many cases rescued, by Turnbull's dedication. (Author tour)"
A straightforward but largely banal account of Turnbull's formative years and his experiences as founder and director of the renowned Boys Choir of Harlem. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 1995

"As many-sided as Tagore himself, this biography will introduce readers not only to one of the giants of 20th-century literature, but also to the encounter between European and South Asian culture under colonial rule. (48 pages photos)"
A beautifully written life of India's once-famous Nobel laureate who is now largely unknown to Western readers. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A plug for phenytoin masquerading as autobiography. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
A brief and chatty profile that tells much more about Dreyfus's prowess at his hobbies than his career on Wall Street, grafted onto a reprint of his A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked (1981). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"His assassination theorizing, however, is informed but innocuous. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Washington lawyer and filmmaker Goldfarb on his experiences in the Kennedy Justice Department during Kennedy's war on organized crime. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Written with the help of Orbach's daughter, this is totally compelling, and one of the rarer stories of the Holocaust. (illustrations, not seen)"
An exciting and unusual mixture of Holocaust journal, coming-of-age story, and memoir of life on the seedy underside of Berlin during WW II. Read full book review >
FOR YOU, LILI MARLENE by Robert Peters
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Donne notwithstanding, the youthful Peters emerges as a narrow, self-absorbed island in the sea of destruction and human misery that engulfed the Continent before the guns fell silent. (13 b&w photos, not seen)"
Vapid reminiscences of rear-echelon service with the US Army during WW II. Read full book review >
ALL RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA by Elie Wiesel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"And he ceaselessly pricks the conscience of a world that thinks it is possible to have heard 'enough' about the Holocaust."
Drenched with sad yearning, yet narrated with simplicity in the limpid singsong that distinguishes his oral as well as written narrative, Wiesel's memoir reveals much, if not enough, about the man whose purpose in life has been to testify to the fate of his people. 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 >