Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 293)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 19, 1994

"Quinn performs his task in a richly straightforward way, depicting his colorful cast with a keen sense of the delicate meshing of the personal and the historical."
Quinn, fresh from his exploration of early America in A New World ( p. 535), takes on the early days of gold-rush California through the story of two men whose political and personal rivalry was to end in tragedy. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 1994

"Enjoyable anecdotes, not much insight or history. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
The CBS anchorman tells of his globe-trotting moments—good yarns, though they're not exactly representative of his usual daily work behind a desk. Read full book review >

BLACKFACE by Nelson George
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 12, 1994

"A savvy, revealing insider's view of the struggle for films created and controlled by African-Americans in Hollywood. (b&w photos, not seen)"
A textured personal exploration of the last 30 years of African-American cinema. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 12, 1994

"The perfect antidote to revolutionary tourism, O'Rourke's raucous narrative suffers from one conceptual flaw: Like many right-wingers, he forgets that regulation, reform, and butting in led to so many of our current freedoms. (First printing of 150,000; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
Rolling Stone's token Republican and the H.L. Mencken Fellow of the libertarian Cato Institute, O'Rourke (Give War a Chance, 1992, etc.) has written his most sustained and well-argued book yet. Read full book review >
ARTHUR FIEDLER by Johanna Fiedler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 11, 1994

"Only Fiedler enthusiasts and habituÇs of the classical music scene will want to wade through the run-of-the-mill pop psychologizing featured here."
The daughter of Boston's beloved maestro transposes the familiar laments of a star's adult child into the world of classical music. Read full book review >

DON'T STAND TOO CLOSE TO A NAKED MAN by Tim Allen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 7, 1994

"For loyal fans, who should still be plentiful. (First printing of 500,000; first serial to TV Guide and Playboy)"
The spawn of Seinlanguage: shticky meditations by a stand-up comic who now stars in a top-rated television show. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 7, 1994

"As incident- laden and wacky as the season was, he's too long-winded to sustain interest. (16 pages photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
An ambitious, remarkably frank, but overlong and digressive chronicle of the Philadelphia Eagles' 1992 season by a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter. Read full book review >
LOVE, ALICE by Audrey Meadows
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Meadows brings her own wit and charm to backstage stories that will be a treat for her many fans. (b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)"
A brisk, amusing memoir of one of everybody's favorite TV classics, ``The Honeymooners.'' When Jackie Gleason first saw actress Audrey Meadows, he immediately rejected her as a possible Alice Kramden, saying, ``She's too young and too pretty.'' The determined Meadows had a photographer come to her house first thing in the morning to take pictures of her newly awake, disheveled, and without makeup. Read full book review >
WAGNER NIGHTS by Joseph Horowitz
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A work of engrossing scholarship about an important, unjustly ignored slice of our artistic past."
An expert blend of musical and social history, illuminating one of the cultural cores of America's ``Gilded Age.'' In the 1880s, as accurately depicted in Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence, the upper echelons of New York society flocked to Faust (a scene carefully retained in Martin Scorsese's recent film version). Read full book review >
FELLINI by John Baxter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Utterly lacking in artistry or insight—an unbearably long, trashy tabloid article. (24 pages of b&w photos, not seen)"
An annoying, superficial, and spiteful reductionist biography of the late Italian filmmaker. Read full book review >
CATS OF ANY COLOR by Gene Lees
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Essential reading for any serious jazz fan or student of American culture."
Another sterling collection of essays by one of our best jazz critics, drawn from his superb newsletter, Jazzletter. Read full book review >
HOW TO BE HAP-HAP-HAPPY LIKE ME by Merrill Markoe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Chuckleworthy in small doses—and a strong argument for caution. (Author tour)"
A former head writer for ``Late Night with David Letterman'' satirizes popular ``happiness materials'' (books, calendars, etc.) with her own entertaining (self-) investigations. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >