Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 505)

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 >
UP LATE WITH JOE FRANKLIN by Joe Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"The old Nabob of Nostalgia natters on, rapid-fire, giving no quarter until, wading through this rodomontade, readers are eventually submerged in a sea of schmaltz. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The TV and radio talk-show host talks and talks about his four decades in show biz. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Trying unsuccessfully to reconcile an uneasy mixture of writing about the war as a whole and about the life of Oslobodjenje in particular, Gjelten strays from reportorial rigor into a general lament for a ravaged land and people. (15 photos, 2 maps, not seen)"
An ambitious, partially rewarding attempt to recount the suffering and fortitude of Sarajevo, focusing on the work and workers of the daily newspaper Oslobodjenje. Read full book review >
THE BUREAU by Diarmuid Jeffreys
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"This realistic and fair portrait should be read by anyone with an interest in law enforcement. (2 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A riveting account of today's FBI and its evolution since the J. Edgar Hoover era to fighting more violent and complex crime. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Worldly-wise perspectives on a major shift within a government branch historically known for its rigid adherence to tradition."
A journalist's generation-spanning take on the US military's long march from humiliating defeat in Vietnam to decisive triumph in the Persian Gulf. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Some of the essays will be tough going for lay readers, but their range of approaches illustrates many legitimate ways to interpret law—original intent, views of natural law, plain meaning—and their inevitable links to political stances."
An erudite collection of essays, organized with an impressive internal logic by Eastland (Energy in the Executive, not reviewed), in which seven influential young constitutional scholars review some of the Supreme Court's most important decisions. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"News junkies, except those from Philadelphia, may want to skim."
A worthy but exhausting case study of the 1991 Philadelphia mayoral election, in which reporters emphasized the horse race over substantive issues. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Though fuzzy on the future, a remarkable story about a remarkable episode in world history."
An absorbing account of South Africa's recent five-year ``negotiated revolution.'' Johannesburg-based veteran reporter Sparks (The Mind of South Africa, 1990) is well situated to interview both apartheid-era Afrikaner officials and members of the African National Congress. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

"Nonetheless, overall, this is a solid and gripping account of Packwood's misadventures, a strong indictment of power misused for sexual purposes. (16 pages photos, not seen)"
A breezily written but meaty biographical sketch of Senator Bob Packwood, accused serial sexual harasser and adulterer. 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 >