W.E.B. DU BOIS

BIOGRAPHY OF A RACE: VOL. I, 1868-1919

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) has finally found a Boswell worthy of his achievements as an African-American reformer who fought for human rights in the US and the wider world. In the first part of a projected two-volume biography, Rutgers history professor Lewis (The Race to Fashoda, 1988, etc.) offers a detailed chronicle that puts the eventful origins of a towering figure clearly in the perspective of his troubled times. Born in western Massachusetts less than three years after the abolition of slavery, Du Bois managed to earn a doctorate in history from Harvard. After graduating, he pursued one of the few careers open to educated blacks, that of teaching—at Atlanta University and other institutions. Meanwhile, he published pioneering sociological studies (The Philadelphia Negro, etc.), arranged symposiums, and helped found the Niagara Movement—an all- black group that in 1909 joined forces with liberal whites to form the NAACP. Du Bois left academe to become the NAACP's director of research and publicity as well as editor of its influential magazine, The Crisis. From this bully pulpit, he battled for racial justice; conducted intellectual inquiries (among other matters, on the talented-tenth theory); critiqued the views of rivals like Booker T. Washington (``the great accommodator''); and otherwise played to the hilt the role of outside agitator (he was active in the Pan-African cause as well). Here, he's last seen after a post- WW I congress that called for direct League of Nations supervision of German colonies in Africa, as he himself returns to a society that brutally and methodically excluded ``his people from meaningful citizenship....'' A masterly appreciation of a great man's intellectual development and singular service in a righteous crusade. (Thirty- two pages of photographs—not seen)

Pub Date: Oct. 29, 1993

ISBN: 0-8050-2621-5

Page Count: 700

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1993

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SLEEPERS

An extraordinary true tale of torment, retribution, and loyalty that's irresistibly readable in spite of its intrusively melodramatic prose. Starting out with calculated, movie-ready anecdotes about his boyhood gang, Carcaterra's memoir takes a hairpin turn into horror and then changes tack once more to relate grippingly what must be one of the most outrageous confidence schemes ever perpetrated. Growing up in New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1960s, former New York Daily News reporter Carcaterra (A Safe Place, 1993) had three close friends with whom he played stickball, bedeviled nuns, and ran errands for the neighborhood Mob boss. All this is recalled through a dripping mist of nostalgia; the streetcorner banter is as stilted and coy as a late Bowery Boys film. But a third of the way in, the story suddenly takes off: In 1967 the four friends seriously injured a man when they more or less unintentionally rolled a hot-dog cart down the steps of a subway entrance. The boys, aged 11 to 14, were packed off to an upstate New York reformatory so brutal it makes Sing Sing sound like Sunnybrook Farm. The guards continually raped and beat them, at one point tossing all of them into solitary confinement, where rats gnawed at their wounds and the menu consisted of oatmeal soaked in urine. Two of Carcaterra's friends were dehumanized by their year upstate, eventually becoming prominent gangsters. In 1980, they happened upon the former guard who had been their principal torturer and shot him dead. The book's stunning denouement concerns the successful plot devised by the author and his third friend, now a Manhattan assistant DA, to free the two killers and to exact revenge against the remaining ex-guards who had scarred their lives so irrevocably. Carcaterra has run a moral and emotional gauntlet, and the resulting book, despite its flaws, is disturbing and hard to forget. (Film rights to Propaganda; author tour)

Pub Date: July 10, 1995

ISBN: 0-345-39606-5

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1995

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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