Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 298)

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 2, 1992

"Intellectual history at its most stimulating—teeming with insights into American violence, politics, class, and race."
Concluding a trilogy that began with Regeneration Through Violence (1973) and The Fatal Environment (1985), Slotkin (English/Wesleyan Univ.) now offers a subtle and wide-ranging examination how America's fascination with the frontier has affected its culture and politics in this century. Read full book review >
THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF LEADBELLY by Charles Wolfe
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 2, 1992

"By deflating the myth, Wolfe and Lornell allow Leadbelly to fill the page with his real and powerful presence. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Definitive life of America's greatest black folk singer, by Wolfe (Mahalia Jackson, 1990) and Lornell (a consultant for the Smithsonian's Leadbelly archives). Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"Makes the sports pages read like the stock pages. (Twenty-four halftones and thirty-three line illustrations.)"
Despite the promising title, not much dirt—but plenty of dust—arises from this thorough but dull study of the marriage between the two American obsessions of money and sports. Read full book review >
CONJURING by James Randi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"A must for magic-lovers: smart, sassy, and more fun than a hatful of rabbits. (Photographs—115 b&w and 75 color.)"
A history of conjuring that's lively, opinionated, and impeccably well informed—just what you'd expect from the ``Amazing'' Randi, master magician-turned-masterful debunker (Flim- Flam!, 1980, etc.). Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"An enjoyable and important contribution to sports history. (Photos—16 pp.—not seen.)"
Like his lively look at the American Basketball Association (Loose Balls, 1990), this freewheeling and informative oral history from Pluto (basketball writer for the Akron Beacon Journal) provides an informal venue for players, coaches, and founders—this time of the National Basketball Association—to tell the story of their league's early years. Read full book review >

MUSIC AND THE MIND by Anthony Storr
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 30, 1992

"Readers with their own inchoate reflections on the nature of music will be grateful to have Storr investigating and clarifying their experiences in such elegant, taut prose."
From Oxford psychiatrist Storr (Churchill's Black Dog, 1989, etc.): a lucid and absorbing study of the relationship between music and the human experience. Read full book review >
BLACK AND BLUE by Barry Singer
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 30, 1992

"An informed and accessible, if overly detailed, work on an important but neglected figure. (Forty-five photographs—not seen.)"
Singer, a regular contributor to The New Yorker, offers a thoroughly researched life of Andrea Razafkeriefo (1895-1973)- -better known as ``Andy Razaf''—the African-American lyricist whose over 500 song lyrics include ``Ain't Misbehavin' '' and ``Honeysuckle Rose.'' Razaf's career—which he pursued with a variety of collaborators, including Thomas ``Fats'' Waller, Eubie Blake, and James P. and J.C. Johnson—spanned the years of Tin Pan Alley as well as the jazz and swing eras. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 26, 1992

"It's still the same old story..."
Roundup of the usual suspects in the making of Casablanca, by Harmetz (The Making of the Wizard of Oz, 1977), the Hollywood business reporter for the New York Times. Read full book review >
KURT WEILL by Ronald Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 1992

"Factually precise but uninspired: a biography that synthesizes much recent scholarship but offers little in the way of psychological or musical insight. (Illustrations.)"
Another composer's life from Taylor (Robert Schumann, 1982, etc.), whose clichÇ-ridden prose delivers a leaden account of the fascinating Kurt Weill (1900-50). Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 17, 1992

"Dumbfoundingly overripe musk, but just right for the right ears. (Photos—not seen.)"
Gushing, not to say ecstatic, exercise in groupiespeak, and a sequel to Des Barres's I'm with the Band (1987). Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 1992

"Turner does lots of dirty laundry, little of it coming clean- -and he pays no serious attention either to Motown's music or to its role in the history of the American entertainment business. (Photographs—not seen.)"
Turner (All that Glittered, 1990) again turns a nasty eye on Motown's seamy flip side, this time on the chaotic careers of Temptations singers Eddie Kendrick, Dennis Edwards, and the late David Ruffin. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 1992

"A misfire in its attempt to do justice to one of TV's cult heroes and giants. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
Here, free-lance journalist Sander (The New York Times, Rolling Stone, etc.) takes one of the most haunting subjects of the video age—master TV-writer Rod Serling—and fumbles the chance for a major biography. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >