Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 294)

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 >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Schulman goes a long way toward putting a human— if battered—face on a profession long in disrepute. (100 b&w photos)"
A sharp, affectionate portrait—in words and stunning photographs—of prizefighters in their milieu. Read full book review >
COBB by Al Stump
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Stump's wonderfully descriptive writing, yeoman historical research, and personal knowledge of Cobb make this an extraordinary achievement in sports biography. (24 photos, not seen)"
Drawing on the harrowing year he spent with Ty Cobb as ghostwriter of his autobiography, Stump pens an astounding portrait that leaves little doubt the Hall of Famer was ``psychotic throughout his baseball career.'' When they ``collaborated'' on My Life in Baseball in 1960, the Georgia Peach was a bitter, unreasonable, gun-toting, 73-year-old cancer-ridden drunk. Read full book review >
MEDIA VIRUS! by Douglas Rushkoff
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"But this book will convince many that the counterculture is alive and well—and more widely dispersed than ever. (Author tour)"
An inspired look at how ideas are disseminated by the media and at how new concepts can be injected into the mainstream, altering views about critical social issues. Read full book review >
JOSEPH LOSEY by David Caute
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"An encyclopedic catalog of Losey's shortcomings and sins, unleavened by any sense of historical context, artistic development, or even sympathy for his work."
This mean-spirited recounting of the life of the expatriate American filmmaker gives a new meaning to the term ``critical biography.'' As profiled by Caute, a prolific author with a specialty in the history of the political left (Sixty-Eight: The Year of the Barricades, 1988, etc.), filmmaker Joseph Losey emerges as a domineering, womanizing sourpuss, a humorless, often dour man with a certain visual flair and a knack for alienating longtime friends. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Despite his lefty, multi-culty inclinations, Gonick maintains the high level of sophistication, skepticism, and just plain fun established by the first volume."
Imagine a collaboration between Arnold Toynbee and R. Crumb and you get a pretty good idea of Gonick's clever and ambitious comic book series. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"But above all, baseball is a fan's game, and this book, compiled lovingly by a fan, deserves notice as a beautiful and enjoyable baseball time capsule."
Exquisite photographs and 97 essays, ranging from dubious to exemplary in quality and relevance, trace the 125-year history of professional baseball. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 1994

"Denlinger captures in equal parts the frustrating pain and the adrenaline-pumping thrill of playing college football at the highest level."
A thoughtful and compelling book following the members of a single recruiting class at Penn State's distinguished football program through their college gridiron careers. 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 >