Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 983)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1993

"Exceptionally moving and strong: an eloquent statement of human endurance and superhuman faith. (Photographs—not seen.)"
A monumental narration of the travails of Russian Communism, served up by the widow of one of its first founders—and victims. Read full book review >
FDR by Kenneth S. Davis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"The means by which all this occurred are not explained here."
Fourth and below-par volume of Davis's ongoing biography of FDR (1986, etc.), this entry covering 1936-40. Read full book review >

CHURCHILL by Robert Blake
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"Lacking an essay on Churchill the writer; still, a solid bet for anyone concerned with 20th-century history."
Expert essays on a fascinating subject, edited by Blake (A History of Rhodesia, 1978, etc.) and Louis (English History and Culture/Univ. of Texas). Read full book review >
SWORD OF SAN JACINTO by Marshall De Bruhl
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

Close on the heels of John Hoyt Williams's Sam Houston (1992), freelance historian De Bruhl's biography of the colorful Texas hero also commemorates the 200th anniversary of Houston's birth—but this is a lackluster, inferior chronicle. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"Holy-roller religion at its best, told with fire."
Powerhouse biography of perhaps the most charismatic and controversial woman in modern religious history. Read full book review >

A LIFE AT THE CENTER by Roy Jenkins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"A substantial feast spiced by warm, vivid accounts of encounters with Johnson, Kennedy, Harold Wilson, and other lesser politicians, and by an insider's view of the hothouse world of Parliamentary politics. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Jenkins—author (Truman, 1986, etc.); chancellor of Oxford University; former home secretary and chancellor of the exchequer in various Labour governments—engagingly turns his formidable narrative skills to his own fascinating life. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"Fun at the outset, but most seats will be empty by the seventh-inning stretch."
Unmemorable memoir by a former Hollywood writer and producer (M*A*S*H; Cheers) who chucks it all in middle age to become a baseball announcer. Read full book review >
ALWAYS STRAIGHT AHEAD by Alma Neuman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"More than a literary footnote. (Photos—not seen.)"
A memoir in the form of an answer to a love letter delivered 20 years late, by the second wife of James Agee. ``Wanting so badly to answer'' that letter, mislaid in the interim, from the long-dead Agee, Neuman has finally eased her grief by writing the candid story of her life. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"His brief account of this sentimental journey adds considerable resonance to a narrative already rich in anecdotal detail and high adventure. (Illustrations—not seen.)"
An absorbing memoir of the Danish-born author's WW II experiences with the American military, which obviously provided a starting point for the many thrillers he later wrote as a civilian (Code Name: Grand Guignol, 1987, etc.). Read full book review >
THE MISBEGOTTEN SON by Jack Olsen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"Olsen explains Shawcross without excusing him, creating an unforgettable portrait, horrifying yet compassionate, of a doomed modern-day monster."
Mesmerizing, mournful portrait of serial-killer/rapist Arthur Shawcross—who also practiced necrophilia and cannibalism—that digs deep to lay his tortured psyche bare. Read full book review >
THE LAST KAMIKAZE by Edwin P. Hoyt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1993

"An insider's intriguing perspectives on an ill-starred belligerency, plus savvy commentary and continuity from a veteran military historian."
During WW II, Vice Admiral Matome Ugaki was the only known member of the Japanese Navy's high command to keep a diary. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 26, 1993

"A wearisome exercise in historical iconoclasm that adds little, except some moralizing, to classic biographies by Douglas S. Freeman, James T. Flexner, and others. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Lewis (The Guns of Cedar Creek, 1988) attempts—with little success—to give a fresh view of the youthful George Washington. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >