Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 985)

Released: Nov. 25, 1996

"One might quibble with some of his choices of specific pieces, and there ought to be more than one entry from Lees, but this is a good introductory collection for the beginning jazz reader, and for the real aficionado, a nice smorgasbord to be dipped into at leisure. (Author tour)"
Jazz, like baseball, is an American cultural phenomenon and, like its sporting counterpart, has inspired a wealth of great writing. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 24, 1996

"But a nice dose of vicarious opulence for those of us who buy our duds at the Gap."
Five stylish women in five vignettes-cum-case studies: how they lived, how they dressed, and how the closet reflects the soul. Read full book review >

EVA PERÓN by Alicia Dujovne Ortiz
Released: Nov. 19, 1996

"But, like an impressionist painting viewed from just the right angle, the book does convey an intriguing image of one the most controversial and fascinating women of our century."
An impressionistic portrait of a woman revered and reviled in Argentina, just in time for the scheduled December release of the Madonna film Evita. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 19, 1996

"Nonetheless, a fitting corrective to Victoria's often misunderstood popular image. (8 pages illustrations, not seen)"
A delightful and engaging joint biography of Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, from prolific popular historian and British royals watcher Hough (Born Royal: The Lives and Loves of the Young Windsors, 1988, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 18, 1996

"This, then, is a most useful addition to the existing biographies and commentaries regarding Holmes, Frankfurter, and their contemporaries."
This edifying collection of letters between two titans of American legal thought will be a welcome addition to the library of any student of legal theory, legal history, or the Supreme Court. Read full book review >

Released: Nov. 15, 1996

"A frank, fascinating memoir by a remarkable reporter. (47 illustrations, not seen)"
The legendary athlete and broadcasting pioneer recounts with great emotion the triumphs and setbacks of nearly seven decades in the sporting world. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 15, 1996

"A very different sort of war story, one that not only strains credulity but also begs rather a lot of questions about the scientific validity of paranormal visitations along what Morehouse presents as a sort of mental Internet."
The whiny testament of a former US Army officer who, after a stint of inner-space spying for covert agencies, turned on his erstwhile masters in a belated burst of moral outrage and was effectively cashiered. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 1996

"A fine contribution to both literary and queer history. (photos, not seen)"
A well-crafted, playful, and probing look at the previously unexamined friendship of Noâl Coward and Radclyffe Hall—and at their influence on each other's work. Read full book review >
SHOWTUNE by Jerry Herman
Released: Nov. 13, 1996

"I Am What I Am,'' chiefly but not exclusively for fans. (photos)"
Notwithstanding frank discussion of his homosexuality and HIV- positive status, the composer-lyricist of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles delivers a memoir as old-fashioned as his shows: exuberant, stagestruck, over-gushy at times, and unabashedly self- infatuated. Read full book review >
MY DARK PLACES by James Ellroy
Released: Nov. 12, 1996

"Fanatics will undoubtedly savor the facts behind Ellroy's fiction (and his murder riffs), but those expecting autobiographical expos‚ of the writer's psychological clockwork will feel stonewalled by macho reserve."
The man who reenergized the hard-boiled detective genre (American Tabloid, 1995, etc.) delivers a true-crime noir unflinchingly detailing his mother's murder and his own belated but obsessive investigation of it. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 11, 1996

"Therapy, then, conducted by a virtuoso solipsist in an airless crucible of amour-propre."
More verbal onanism in the fourth and last installment of A Journal of Love, which demonstrates that even an unexpurgated diary can be boring (especially sans the high prurience quotient of the scandalous couplings in the earlier volumes Incest and Henry and June). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 7, 1996

"For politicos, journalists, or anyone who has ever been pulled into the distorted worldview of a dangerous smooth talker, the story of Brett Kimberlin is a valuable one, expertly unearthed and reported by Singer."
An absorbing investigation into the life and tall tales of Brett Kimberlin, the jailed drug dealer who won brief notoriety by claiming to have sold drugs to Dan Quayle. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >