Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 297)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 1994

"Motown historians will glean little new about Reeves's life; fans of the kiss-and-tell genre will be disappointed by the dearth of dirt. (Three 8-page b&w photo inserts, not seen) (Author tour)"
A less-than-average celebrity memoir of the averagely famous Motown singer, written with the coauthor of Micky Dolenz's I'm a Believer (1993). Read full book review >
CAROL REED by Nicholas Wapshott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 1994

"Proficiently written and well researched, this book begs a simple question: If Reed's work is for the most part undistinguished, why bother?"
A meticulous but dry biography of the British director, himself a meticulous but dry filmmaker. Read full book review >

JEAN RENOIR by Ronald Bergan
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 21, 1994

"A charming work that successfully and lovingly evokes the world of one of the cinema's true giants."
Film historian Bergan (The United Artists Story, not reviewed) contributes a warm and intelligent new biography of the great French filmmaker to the celebration of the centennial of his birth this fall. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

"An often dramatic and compelling story that will serve as necessary reading for those who are too young (or too straight) to have been there and which will strike a chord of nostalgia among those who were. (Author tour)"
Selvin has provided an authoritative account full of rich details (sometimes too many) of the San Francisco music scene from 1965 to 1971. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

"With input from Dennis Cooper, Leslie Dick, Lynne Tillman, and others, this polyglot book edited by two writers and visual artists addresses race, gender, sexuality, and Captain Jean- Luc Picard."
Perhaps the proof that human beings are different from the rest of the animals lies not, as theologians claim, in the existence of a soul, but rather in the existence of poststructuralism. Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Recommended for moms and dads whose daughters want to grow up to be rock musicians—and (of course) their rockin' daughters. (Author tour)"
A tour of the contemporary pop music industry with one of America's most promising new bands, whose three members happen to be women. Read full book review >
SCOTT JOPLIN by Edward W. Berlin
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"For one-stop shoppers, Berlin edges out the competition, thanks to his more thorough knowledge of music. (Illustrations, not seen)"
The second biography of legendary ragtime composer Joplin to appear this year (the first was Susan Curtis's Dancing to a Black Man's Tune: A Life of Scott Joplin, p. 450), written from the perspective of a musicologist. Read full book review >
SWING CHANGES by David Ware Stowe
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Although it begins to run out of steam in its last two chapters, much like the Swing Era itself, this is an intelligent and lively book, peppered with astute historical and musical observations."
This excellent book on the Swing Era, its music and meaning, is a model of interdisciplinary social history, combining music, business, economics, and politics in a seamless and fascinating chronicle. Read full book review >
MOGULS AND MADMEN by Jory Farr
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"Ultimately, these moguls don't seem very mad at all; though Farr disapproves of many of their actions (he faults Rubin for recording controversial acts like rap's Geto Boys), one ends up admiring all eight, especially given the harsh lives they've overcome."
Though uneven, this volume is full of wild stories about the men behind the most important—and atrocious—popular music of the last ten years. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"In its moving evocation of lost times, this does for pro football what Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer did for baseball."
A lovely memoir of a sports-mad kid growing up in Baltimore during the 1950s—funny and bittersweet. Read full book review >
OCTOBER 1964 by David Halberstam
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"A powerful and entertaining examination of the forces transforming baseball, and the country, in a pivotal period in the history of America and its national pastime."
The riveting story of how two very different baseball teams, reflective of the times in America, got to the 1964 World Series. Read full book review >
FRITZ REINER by Philip Hart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"This substantial study makes the reader hungry for the same treatment of Reiner's contemporaries: How about Eugene Ormandy, Charles Munch, Paul Paray, or Thomas Schippers, Mr. Hart? (40 b&w photos, not seen)"
A worthy addition to the small shelf of famous-maestro biographies relying on thoughtful scholarship rather than hype. 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 >