Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"Excellent from start to finish, demanding a soundtrack of Stax hits as background listening."
Intellectually complex life of Otis Redding (1941-1967), the doomed King of Soul. Read full book review >
REAGAN by H.W. Brands
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"An exemplary work of history that should bring Reagan a touch more respect in some regards but that removes the halo at the same time."
Monumental life of the president whom some worship and some despise—with Brands (History/Univ. of Texas; The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace, 2012, etc.) providing plenty of justification for both reactions.Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"In addition to World War II buffs, other readers will enjoy the intrigue, back-stabbing, action, and diplomacy in this well-written book."
Attorney Jordan (Brothers, Rivals, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe, 2011, etc.) delivers another page-turning chronicle of World War II.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about."
A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Read full book review >
THE WORLD'S LARGEST MAN by Harrison Scott Key
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"An uncommonly entertaining story replete with consistent wit and lethal weaponry."
Oxford American humor columnist Key (English/Savannah Coll. of Art and Design) pens a memoir about his father, a man with "the emotional tenderness of a Soviet farm tractor." Read full book review >

TERRORISTS AT THE TABLE by Jonathan Powell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"Powell's urgent, reasoned, and impassioned argument for negotiation has the potential to contribute significantly to public debate."
A road map for the fraught, fragile road to possible peace with terrorist organizations. Read full book review >
THE THEFT OF MEMORY by Jonathan Kozol
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"A compassionate, cathartic, and searingly intimate chronicle of a crippling condition."
An errant son memorializes the devastating impact of his father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Read full book review >
BLACKOUT by Sarah Hepola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 23, 2015

"A treasure trove of hard truths mined from a life soaked in booze."
A razor-sharp memoir that reveals the woman behind the wine glass. Read full book review >
BILLIE HOLIDAY by John Szwed
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"As with the best of Holiday's music, this elegant and perceptive study is restrained, nuanced, and masterfully carried out."
Esteemed music scholar Szwed (Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World, 2010, etc.) offers a portrait of Lady Day as artist and mythmaker rather than tragic victim.Read full book review >
THE DAEMON KNOWS by Harold Bloom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"As always, Bloom conveys the intimate, urgent, compelling sense of why it matters that we read these canonical authors."
Elegiac, gracious literary ponderings that group and compare 12 giants of American literature. Read full book review >
STALIN'S DAUGHTER by Rosemary Sullivan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2015

"The author manages suspense and intrigue at every turn."
A biography of haunting fascination portrays its subject as a pawn of historical circumstance who tried valiantly to create her own life. Read full book review >
BELIEVER by David Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. 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 >