Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 298)

VIETNAM AT THE MOVIES by Michael Lee Lanning
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 1, 1994

"Julian Smith's Looking Away: Hollywood and Vietnam (1975) is a far better treatment of the same topic."
An examination of motion picture treatments of the Vietnam War that, while sometimes on the mark, is marred by questionable critical judgments. Read full book review >
WILD, HIGH AND TIGHT by Peter Golenbock
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 27, 1994

"Much of this is a rehashing of the author's earlier books on the Yankees, but it will, nonetheless, stir up controversy by reopening old wounds."
Golenbock barely stays within the foul lines in this Baseball Babylon catalogue of the late Yankees manager's career, his celebrated fistfights, hangovers, trysts with underage women, and battles with owners, players, and the press. Read full book review >

DIAMOND by Mark Harris
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 20, 1994

"Harris has an engaging voice, although he does trot out a lot of old saws—how baseball nurtured American democracy, nostalgia for day games on grass—that just don't cut it any more."
The author of the novel Bang the Drum Slowly gathers over 40 years' worth of baseball essays and throws in an excerpt from Bang, as well as the entire screenplay of the movie. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 15, 1994

"Frequent celebrity coauthor Herskowitz (This 'n' That by Bette Davis, 1987, etc.) helps the slugger achieve a low-key, no-frills prose style that packs a lot of information (and some good gossip) into a fairly short book. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
Given Mantle's well-known fondness for the bottle (and his widely publicized decision to seek treatment for it earlier this year), it's perhaps not surprising that his book opens and closes with a plea to kids not to abuse drugs or alcohol. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 15, 1994

"A powerful primer on the futility of temporizing with evil."
A significant addition to the ongoing discussion of the extent to which Germany's most important musical figure was co-opted by the Nazis. Read full book review >

BAYREUTH by Frederic Spotts
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 15, 1994

"An important, elegantly written, deeply engrossing cultural history of this unique (and uniquely strange) cultural institution."
A smart, splendid account of the world's most famous—and quirkiest—serious music festival. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 3, 1994

Wit and wisdom for intelligent life forms who have gotten past kindergarten. Read full book review >
TAINTED TRUTH by Cynthia Crossen
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 1994

"Still, this roundup of a book could use more narrative heft."
A Wall Street Journal reporter skeptical of the rise in privately sponsored research traverses a host of cautionary examples. ``We need to reclaim the purity of our numbers,'' declares Crossen, and this book's a start. Read full book review >
DANCING TO A BLACK MAN'S TUNE by Susan Curtis
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 1994

"While it's refreshing to read a book about a popular musician written by someone with real credentials as a historian, Curtis sadly lacks enough knowledge about music to carry off her task."
Not really a biography, but an episodic social history centering on the life of ragtime composer Scott Joplin. Read full book review >
LORDS OF THE REALM by John Helyar
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 1, 1994

"A must-read for baseball fans and for anyone who would like to know how the very wealthy and the very ambitious manage the business of America's national pastime. (Book-of-the-Month Club selection)"
Wall Street Journal reporter Helyar (coauthor of Barbarians at the Gate, 1990) colorfully argues that baseball has been run poorly from its humble 19th-century beginnings to its current status as a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Read full book review >
JUST DO IT by Donald Katz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 1, 1994

"An engrossing and illuminating appreciation of a distinctive corporate culture."
An agreeably fervid take on what makes Nike Inc. a consistent winner in the ultracompetitive sports-and-fitness trade. Read full book review >
DAVE BARRY IS NOT MAKING THIS UP by Dave Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 1994

Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald columnist and funny guy Barry (Dave Barry Does Japan, 1992, etc.) has once again collected a bunch of goofy anecdotes. 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 >