History Book Reviews (page 930)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Byrnes, an important figure, deserves a better biography."
This biography of South Carolina politician Byrnes offers historical insight but ultimately descends into hagiography. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

From historian and former Librarian of Congress Boorstin (The Creators, 1992, etc.), 17 sparkling and erudite essays that ``explore some of the surprising novelties and unexpected continuities in our recent past.'' Boorstin is a magnificent anachronism: He still believes in the essential goodness of the American experiment, and as an amateur rather than professional historian, he prefers straightforward narratives on grand themes rather than narrowly focused, footnote-laden quarrels with musty academics. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Worth the price of admission all the same for the 15 crack nature essays gathered under one roof. (b&w illustrations, not seen)"
A hunt-and-peck collection of 30 pieces assembled to benefit Share Our Strength, a group dedicated to feeding the hungry. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Too bad the spine isn't more visible."
An autobiography of the Louisiana-born congresswoman (written with freelance writer Hatch), whose purple veil unfortunately casts too rosy a glow over 50 years of US history. Read full book review >
MADAME DU DEFFAND AND HER WORLD by Benedetta Craveri
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"This impressive biography and history of French aristocratic intrigue rides more on the vitality of these quoted correspondences than on Craveri's solid, academic writing."
This biography of a lesser Madame de SÇvignÇ proves Laclos's Les Liaisons dangereuses was not merely a fictional study of sexual politics but an accurate portrait of aristocratic behavior in 18th- century France. Read full book review >

MEA CUBA by Guillermo Cabrera Infante
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Would it be too much to ask of this brilliant exile that he provide the kind of profound account of Castro's Cuba that only he could give—and that he restrain his punning?"
While singularly informative, this volume of autobiographically oriented sketches of recent Cuban history and culture is, in the end, evasive. Read full book review >
ON THE EDGE by Elizabeth Drew
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Drew's insightful account of an increasingly paralyzed presidency raises questions about the viability of American government that go beyond the fate of the Clinton administration."
Distinguished essayist and ``Meet the Press'' commentator Drew (Election Journal, 1989, etc.), relying heavily on firsthand interviews with senior White House officials, paints a vivid portrait of a presidency in turmoil. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Twenty-five years after its author's death, this is by no means a cutting-edge work—but this great thinker's ruminations on his predecessors have a timeless quality to them."
Rigorous yet readable notes, sketches, and articles that round out a four-volume panorama of the philosophical pantheon. Read full book review >
VAMPS AND TRAMPS by Camille Paglia
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

Those who missed them in Playboy, The New Republic, and other media can catch up with culture diva Paglia's latest performances here. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"This analysis of an important American educational story is somewhat plodding and dry, but the end result is coherent and insightful."
An authoritative study of the emergence of Jewish studies on the American campus. Read full book review >
LONDON by John Russell
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"Russell for the most part offers the armchair traveler and the inquiring mind alike five-star service. (183 illustrations, 86 in color) (Book-of-the-Month Club dividend selection)"
An elegantly idiosyncratic, leisurely and—at its most successful—revealing stroll through London's highways and byways that transcends the coffee-table genre. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

"While Altshuler does raise valid points, his argument neglects today's increasingly conservative climate for art funding; many avant-garde artists whose grants have recently been withdrawn or their applications denied might feel less than coddled and coopted."
The questionable premise of this data-packed book is that the avant-garde is dead, that the isolated artist spurned by a ridiculing public no longer exists, and that today challenging art is readily brought into mainstream venues. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >