Biography & Memoir Book Reviews (page 995)

LAST TRAIN TO MEMPHIS by Peter Guralnick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 1994

"An American epic that belongs on every bookshelf. (20 b&w photos) (Author tour)"
The first volume of two in what is bound to be the definitive biography of the King. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 26, 1994

"But it does reveal a complete and satisfying picture of a complex age of transition for Western Europe."
Duchàne, Monnet's aide and a correspondent for The Economist, here sets out to chart the remarkable, if somewhat obscure, life of the architect of the European Community and also—a lesser-known fact—of America's wartime munitions effort. Read full book review >

FIFTY DAYS OF SOLITUDE by Doris Grumbach
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 21, 1994

"If Grumbach went to the bottom of her soul during her lonely winter, she does not take the reader with her. (b&w photos, not seen)"
Graceful but essentially unsatisfying reflections on seven weeks spent alone in a house near the Maine coast. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 19, 1994

"Eddy fans, a pan full of nuggets for aficionados of Hollywood and MGM, but an encyclopedic struggle for the less dedicated. (b&w photos, not seen)"
This lengthy biography of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy reveals lives as melodramatic and star-crossed as one of their movies—without the happy ending. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 1994

"Lawrence-Lightfoot presents successful people determined to remember where they—individually and as a people—came from, and she brings her formidable storytelling gifts to their lives. (Book- of-the-Month Club main selection; author tour)"
A refreshing and inspiring look into the lives of six successful African-Americans. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 2, 1994

"Jeffers inverts Teddy's most famous saying with a book that walks loudly (lots of swaggering by the protagonist and others) and carries a small stick (nary a whack of dissent)."
A fast-paced but toothless report on the crime-busting years of America's toothiest politician: scads of atmosphere and action, no critical bite. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Clark's observations of British political life are acute and his gossip hilarious."
The diaries of Clark, who held cabinet positions under British prime ministers Thatcher and Major from 1986 to 1992, have already caused something of a sensation in the UK. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"A tribute with the genre's characteristic virtues (warmth) and vices (lack of objectivity), but on the money in assessing a justice unwavering in his dedication to civil rights and civil liberties."
The happy warrior of the Supreme Court's liberal wing from 1956 to 1990 is fondly recalled in these miscellaneous articles collected by Goldman (Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure/St. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"A useful introduction to some of the obstacles gay teachers face, but this subject merits much livelier treatment."
A book devoted to the experiences of lesbian and gay teachers and the innumerable pressures on them to remain closeted. Read full book review >
HOW I GOT THIS WAY by Patrick F. McManus
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Trepid, vincible, domitable, and predictable as the seasons, Pat McManus is still the funniest guy in a flannel shirt."
Bucolic essayist McManus (The Good Samaritan Strikes Again, 1992, etc.) pops out of the tall timber to present his ninth gathering of lies and giggles from field and stream. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Generously illustrated with remarkable photographs, this is an illuminating examination of a subject that is frequently misunderstood or misrepresented, and that remains current—in new waves of Irish emigrants—to this very day."
This book, based on a documentary film that will air on PBS stations later this year, is an exceptionally vivid study of Irish immigration from the American Revolution to the present. Read full book review >
DIANNE FEINSTEIN by Jerry Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Indeed, this book, though mainly respectful, should not garner her new acolytes. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
This competent biography of California senator Feinstein, who in November will be up for reelection, hews to the new archetype in political drama: It's the tale of the child who triumphs over the dysfunctions of family life and grows up to become an influential public figure. 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 >