History Book Reviews (page 928)

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 >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"An important and well-told account of the often-neglected legal struggle for civil rights."
Tushnet (Law Center/Georgetown) offers an absorbing account of the legal struggles, led by Thurgood Marshall, to achieve civil rights for African-Americans. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"For any who might think race relations and conditions in African-American communities have been improving since the hard-won civil-rights victories of the 50's and 60's: a devastating, full- bodied reality check."
Hopelessness, anguish, and anger seethe through this riveting account, by Washington Post reporter McCall, of one man's roller- coaster rise from the violent, self-annihilating street life of his generation to a respectable position above the fray. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 1994

"Despite inevitable blemishes: a truly indispensable volume."
The latest in a long line of chatty demi-reference books for crime mavens (cf. 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 >

HISTORY
Released: Jan. 27, 1994

"An absorbing and authoritative account with substantial appeal to a general readership. (Twenty photos and five maps—not seen)"
While scholars and soldiers have long debated the Falaise campaign that developed within weeks of the 1944 invasion of occupied France, Blumenson (the US Army's official historian; Patton, 1985, etc.) offers a savvy, comprehensive overview of the battle that might well have brought WW II to an earlier end in the European theater. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 26, 1994

"This is Hamlet not only without the prince, but without the king as well: a singularly absurd study."
A flawed and sometimes fantastic effort to link American anti- Communism to the ``demons of the American soul,'' by Marxist psychiatrist Kovel (Social Studies/Bard; The Age of Desire, 1981, etc.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 1994

"Nothing new, and nothing not said better before."
A Republican loyalist's version of the obvious. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 26, 1994

A provocative dual biography that sets out to recast Simone de Beauvoir as the ``true philosopher'' in her legendary relationship with Jean-Paul Sartre; by the Fullbrooks (she: Literary Studies/Univ. of the West of England; he: a freelance writer). Read full book review >
CUTTING FOR SIGN by William Langewiesche
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 25, 1994

"Compassionate, risk-taking reporting: timely and valuable."
From frequent Atlantic contributor Langewiesche—a former pilot who worked the Texas-Mexico border—a terse, clear, tough- minded account of life on both sides of the line. Read full book review >
THE LIVES OF MICHEL FOUCAULT by David Macey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 25, 1994

"A cautious and respectful study—avoiding luridness and gossip while preserving its subject's dignity—that Foucault himself might have authorized."
Elusive and private, ``the lives'' of Michel Foucault (1926- 84) include the many public roles that he assumed—as philosopher, academic, historian, political activist, and homosexual—roles that both reflected and helped shape the character of postwar France. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 25, 1994

"An evenhanded appreciation of special forces and their varied roles in a Global Village that, despite the USSR's collapse, falls well short of being a peaceable kingdom. (First serial to Newsweek; Main Selection of the Military Book Club)"
From a Newsweek correspondent who's seen them in action on a number of fronts: an absorbing and informative briefing on the American military's elite but covert forces Drawing mainly on personal observations and interviews with over 200 of the roughly 46,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen who comprise the US Special Operations Command, Waller focuses on four outfits—the Army's Delta Force and Green Berets, the Navy's SEALs, and the so-called cowboys who fly the Pave Low helicopters that, among other missions impossible, put commando units where they have to be by day or night. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >