Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 502)

NON-FICTION
Released: March 1, 1995

"Not a good advertisement for books by television reporters. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The true-crime tale of Walter Leroy Moody, convicted of killing a federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., and an NAACP lawyer in Savannah, Ga., with letter bombs. Read full book review >
THE QUEEN by Kenneth Harris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 1995

"A royal rehash that's a royal bore."
Harris (Thatcher, 1988, etc.) provides a dreary if competent chronological summary of Queen Elizabeth II's life and role in British history. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 1995

"His amateur pop-psychological analyses of the killers' family lives aside, Smith, a solid writer and an excellent reporter (he writes for Esquire), makes this horrendous story almost readable. (Photos, not seen)"
This intricate re-creation of the February 1993 murder of three-year-old James Bulger by two 10-year-old boys in Bottle, England, is ugly, painful reading. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 26, 1995

The fabled first 100 days of FDR's administration in 1933 set the tone for how people would come to think of the New Deal: an aggressive attack on depression and poverty by an activist federal government willing to throw enormous sums of money at economic problems. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 22, 1995

"A powerful argument that we should all avoid sloganeering about the death penalty and think more carefully about justice. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Washington Post reporter Drehle (formerly of the Miami Herald) crafts a gripping narrative traversing the world of the death penalty. ``Twenty men have been sentenced to die under Florida's modern death penalty laws for every one who has been executed,'' he writes. ``Nothing but chance has separated those who live from those who died.'' Though he reviews (and refutes) the standard prodeath penalty arguments of deterrence and retribution, Drehle's concern is with the flawed system in practice. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 20, 1995

"Weinberg, who struggles to withhold judgment and to weigh Denard's version of events against legend and verifiable fact, tells it well. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A British journalist sets off to find a modern-day pirate and soldier of fortune involved in numerous coups, revolutions, and assassinations in post-colonial Africa. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 20, 1995

"Gilbert's very specialized manual of arms will appeal to the Soldier of Fortune crowd as well as military history buffs. (16 pages photos, not seen)"
An exhaustive, ice-cold briefing that tracks the martial art of sniping from colonial America through the brushfire conflicts of the present day. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 1995

"A well-crafted work of history that not only gives insight into the lives and thought of the two men but also stimulates thought about the public institutions they helped to create."
Drawing on the celebrated correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison about the newly adopted Constitution, Banning listens in on ``three of many conversations that occurred between two founders on matters of continuing concern.'' (See p. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 1995

"Intricately detailed and perceptively digressive, Falkner's work is as good as the best books by Donald Honig or Roger Kahn. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Like all fine sports biographies, this one is not merely about an athlete. Read full book review >
THE POPULIST PERSUASION by Michael Kazin
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 15, 1995

"A solid historical view, slightly deflated by Kazin's muddled speculation on the need for new, inclusive social movements that incorporate the historic language of populism."
A timely history of the American politicians and publicists who have appealed to ``the people.'' Kazin (History/American Univ.; Barons of Labor, not reviewed) shows how populist language has a complicated history, full of irony, paradox, and at times menace. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 13, 1995

"Animated by a sense of betrayal, Arens makes penetrating observations about political leaders and situations, and historical conundrums."
Arens, a former Israeli foreign minister, has written an embittered but insightful and illuminating book about what he, as a conservative, sees as a severe breach of faith. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Decidedly unsatisfactory as a portrait of recovery from mental illness."
A sometimes vivid, sometimes vague first-person account of a truly dreadful life and the controversial form of therapy that helped the author come to grips with it. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >