Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 502)

NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"A timely reminder, as we enter a year of electoral politicking, that even the touchiest issues can be treated with intellectual honesty and a decent appreciation for opposing views."
A sound and spirited defense of the wall of separation between church and state. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1996

"Passionate and absorbing, this leaves one wondering: Why is there no national monument honoring John Quincy Adams? (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
One might expect a voluminous, minutely detailed narrative of parliamentary maneuvers on the floor of the 24th through 28th Congresses (183545) to be tedious. Read full book review >

FRANCE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY by Frederic J. Baumgartner
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 11, 1995

"French history, Baumgartner's work is nevertheless important for examining the foundations of French absolutism of the 17th and 18th centuries."
A comprehensive study of France's transition from the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance, to the ancien rÇgime. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 8, 1995

"Given such sketchy and unverifiable material, this book will garner little understanding for a growing problem."
This examination of the rise of Vietnamese youth gangs relies heavily on Du Phuoc Long's work as a juvenile rehabilitation counselor in Santa Clara County, Calif. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 7, 1995

"A welcome association of sense and sensibility. (27 illustrations)"
Sanity, sanity, sanity, as Steiner squarely addresses a number of contemporary cultural conflicts and teases out their subtler meanings. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"At that point, this book will become either an important introduction to a new approach to American democracy or an interesting footnote to a failed experiment."
An extended briefing paper on a nationally televised ``deliberative poll'' scheduled for early 1996. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"His assassination theorizing, however, is informed but innocuous. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
Washington lawyer and filmmaker Goldfarb on his experiences in the Kennedy Justice Department during Kennedy's war on organized crime. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE ALLIES by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"But for all its heroism and insight, of all Solzhenitsyn's books this may be the least satisfactory: His respect for those who helped him and his own reticence on personal matters join to make it perhaps the closest thing he has ever written to socialist realist odes to heroic tractor drivers."
A portion of Solzhenitsyn's memoir, The Oak and the Calf (1980), that could not be published originally because it reveals his allies in the Soviet Union and how he managed to get his writings out of the country. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Complete with anecdotal particulars and big-picture perspectives, a stunningly effective chronicle of a vanguard state's coming of age. (25 halftones, not seen)"
A first-rate, vivid, verbal diorama of the varied events that formed and reformed California during the convulsive decade before WW II, from the state's librarian and author of Inventing the Dream (1985, etc.). Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"The book bears some signs of haste in its composition, but its somber and persuasive message should gain it wide and deserved attention."
A courageous book by one of the most distinguished living Irishmen (now pro-chancellor of the University of Dublin and an editor of both the Observer and the Atlantic Monthly), which slices through the superficial optimism currently prevailing about Northern Ireland. Read full book review >
SHELL GAME by Peter Mantius
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Mantius offers a wealth of circumstantial and documentary evidence of egregious improprieties as well as questionable judgments in high places. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An attention-grabbing rundown on the tangled web woven around a diminutive Sunbelt bank that helped underwrite many of Saddam Hussein's more dubious development programs. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 17, 1995

"Provocative and convincing reading that will doubtless earn Gitlin demerits from the PC orthodox. (Author tour)"
A noted cultural historian prophesies the demise of the American Left in the current battles over political correctness. 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 >