Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 983)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"So is her own story, and she tells it here with great style."
Alexander, who has anatomized the lives of Patty Hearst, Jean Harris, and others (Anyone's Daughter, 1979, etc.) now wields her scalpel gently but with precision as she dissects her own family history; what is laid bare is tantalizingly mysterious, profoundly sad, and always riveting. Read full book review >
YOURS, ISAAC ASIMOV by Stanley Asimov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"A journalist very nearly succeeds in producing a book devoid of news."
For those Isaac Asimov fans who wonder if two long, detailed volumes of autobiography and a book of memoirs might have left any stone unturned, here is a largely mundane collection of comments to peruse. Read full book review >

GUNS OR BUTTER by Irving Bernstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"The author's mastery of historical materials is evident on every page of this useful and welcome book."
A careful, densely detailed account of a troubled administration. Read full book review >
I.M. PEI by Michael T. Cannell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"All the same, Pei's public success makes for a great story, one that Cannell adroitly reports. (90 b&w photos, not seen)"
The lineaments of I.M. Pei's career emerge clearly in this skillfully composed biography, although the celebrated architect's private personality remains veiled. Read full book review >
LIVING BACKWARDS by Carl Dawson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Still, a talented memoirist with an eye for character and speech, Dawson does a credible job of weaving together social and family history, threaded through with his identity's unresolved predicament."
Immigration and exile work both ways in this well-told memoir of a Yorkshire family's immigration to Southern California in 1948 and their almost all-American son's return as a schoolboy in 1952. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"In brief, then, an experienced, professional communicator's illuminating, behind-the-scenes insights on how American chief executives make and shape the news. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Selective but effectively tart recollections of a hectic decade as a spokesman for the Reagan and Bush administrations. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"A rare and extraordinary portrait of Soviet society in a critical decade, comprising fear, bravery, bathos, tragedy, and even humorin sum, the broad range of human responses to inhumanity. (10 b&w photos)"
This is an ambitious attempt at writing Soviet history in a new key. Read full book review >
DJUNA by Phillip Herring
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"As elusive as Barnes's writings, but not as artistically satisfying. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The author of Joyce's Uncertainty Principle (not reviewed) sketchily profiles a lesser-known modernist: the acerbically witty author of Nightwood. Read full book review >
THE BOX by Jeff Kisseloff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"An always fascinating exploration of the rowdy, sometimes wonderful, sometimes appalling days of early television. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
A thoroughly engrossing grab bag of memories of the dawn of television. Read full book review >
LEADER OF THE BAND by Gene Lees
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"A few high notes from the past, bathed in a warm, nostalgic glow. (25 b&w photos, not seen)"
Workmanlike biography of a famed big bandsman. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"And while his style of presentation is clumsy and unsophisticated, this is nonetheless a gripping tale."
Medical-products scientist Piszkiewicz tells how the dream of space exploration was perverted by the complicity of its developers in Nazi military goals. Read full book review >
STREISAND by James Spada
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Two cheers for Streisand, one for Spada. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Vanity Fair; Literary Guild selection; author tour)"
A standard issue rah-rah show-biz bio of one of the most influential women in entertainment today. 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 >