Entertainment & Sports Book Reviews (page 303)

THE PUCCINI COMPANION by William Weaver
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 28, 1994

"Lovers of Puccini and Italian opera at every level of interest and knowledge will want this book. (Photographs—not seen)"
Puccini wins the prize for most-maligned great composer. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 21, 1994

Philosophy and history of American background music by pop- culture historian Lanza (Fragile Geometry, 1991—not reviewed). Read full book review >

PRIDE by Charley Pride
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 1994

"Filled with wit and grit, an admirable exemplar of the celebrity bio genre."
The first black country music star spins a great life story. Read full book review >
MICK JAGGER by Christopher Sandford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 1994

"Sandford may manage to inch closer to the real Jagger, but only die-hard fans will be caught up in his account."
A sloppily rendered bio of the Rolling Stones' lead singer offers glimpses of a more human Mick Jagger than previously seen, but gets mired in contradictions and the details of the group's long decline. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 8, 1994

"Recommended for students of both sport and society."
A spritely, subtly reasoned consideration of women and sports- -a study that goes beyond the historical record to examine athletics as both a reflection of and a challenge to culturally enforced notions of gender. Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 3, 1994

"Perhaps too close to the situation, the authors fail to capture what in other hands might have been a unique and inspiring story. (Eight pages of photographs—not seen)"
About one of the NBA's ``bad boys'': an uninspired, sometimes sketchy account of Rodman's relationship with a rural family during his college days in Oklahoma. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 3, 1994

"But it hardly matters: he's still one of the game's most interesting personalities. (Eight pages of b&w photos—not seen)"
Hall-of-Fame cager Walton looks back at his injury-ridden college and NBA career. Read full book review >
TURNAROUND by Milos Forman
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Milos Forman—and his coauthor, Prague novelist Jan Novak. (B&w photo insert—not seen)"
Warmblooded memoir by Americanized Czech filmmaker Forman, whose world went into turnaround when he decided to leave Communist Prague for capitalist Hollywood. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Well-intentioned but frustrating."
By amateur historian/jazzman Lester, the first bio of legendary jazz pianist Tatum. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Which is to say that this aptly titled book, while dandy, could have been softer. (Eight pages of b&w photographs)"
A timely but stubbornly selective autobiography of Detroit's five-time African-American mayor, written with Wheeler (coauthor of Hank Aaron's I Had A Hammer, 1991). Read full book review >
ON THE REAL SIDE by Mel Watkins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"A careful balance of example and commentary—as filled with the voices and laughter of black humor as with the pain, injustice, indignities, and exclusion that gave rise to it."
In this timely, encyclopedic, personable history of African- American humor, Watkins (journalist, editor New York Times) offers in his rich examples and unpretentious analysis a history of a culture through its entertainment and, in a wider context, an explanation of the functions of laughter among minorities. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Tightly knit, wide-ranging, and well researched — with Gibson's own experience as a Gunsite Ranch trainee recounted: a profoundly troubling assessment of America at risk."
Powerful, deadly trends now present in US society are traced to a loss of male self-esteem and national pride following our defeat in Vietnam — in this fluid, captivating analysis from Gibson (Sociology/California State University; The Perfect War, 1986). 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 >