History Book Reviews (page 942)

17F by Donald McCormick
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 9, 1994

"Although Fleming was ultimately a private character with a very public quasi-alter ego in James Bond, this thin work has the whitewashed feel of an authorized biography—but without the privileged access or intimacy with its subject."
This rushed, journalistic coverage of the fascinating Fleming only rarely lives up to its sensational and complex subject, even while dispatching many of the occluding myths around him. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 7, 1994

"The volume leaves the young minster on the eve of a watershed in his own life, in the life of his people, and in the life of America as a whole: the Montgomery bus boycott."
This second of a projected 14 volumes of Martin Luther King's collected works covers the period from his postgraduate education at Boston University's School of Theology through the end of his first year as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 7, 1994

"Whatever insights Gellner may have into specific historical circumstances are obscured by sociological jargon and abstraction."
A brutally esoteric philosophical peregrination concerning the prospects for civil society in post-Marxist Eastern and Central Europe. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 5, 1994

"Despite unearthing some controversial historical possibilities, Wilson ultimately displays as much wishful thinking in making Shakespeare a crypto-Catholic as others have in attributing his plays to Francis Bacon. (54 b&w photos, not seen; 14 figures)"
In his search for the historical Bard of Avon, religious historian Wilson (Jesus: The Evidence, 1991) penetrates the Elizabethan stage's shadow world with some success but tendentiously turns Shakespeare into a cypher for crypto-Catholic theories. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"With a more lucid tone, this account of a medicine man's unusual life might have attracted a readership beyond fans of Boyd's previous works."
Boyd (Mystics, Magicians, and Medicine People, 1989) serves as traveling secretary and appreciative witness to the actions of Mad Bear, a Tuscarora medicine man, in this pedantic account of their travels in the late 1970s. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"One of the best books ever written about biography, psycho- or otherwise."
Psychologist Elms wants to transform bestselling, warts-and- all biographers (``pathographers,'' as Joyce Carol Oates has labeled them) into sensitive, thoughtful chroniclers of textured lives. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Europe to come."
The distinguished, prolific classical historian (Constantine the Great, p. 681, etc.) here critically examines the reigns of the Roman Empire's three Antonine emperors (a.d. 138192). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

The tale has been told many times, the theories get ever more intricate, but Canute himself could not still the waves of interest in British spy Kim Philby and what author Brown (Bodyguard of Lies, 1975) calls with some justice ``the spy case of the century.'' This book's new wrinkle is that it's a dual biography of Kim and his father, the formidable H. St. Read full book review >
NELSON by Christopher Hibbert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"To understand what made Nelson different from his contemporaries, one will have to read elsewhere."
A lively but incomplete biography of Admiral Nelson that keeps most strategy below decks and instead concentrates on one of the more celebrated adulteries in history. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Langer applies his insightful, razor-sharp pen to others' works about an event that, he convincingly maintains, carries neither lesson nor moral but instead overpowers memory, mocks the pretensions of civilization, and leaves an absurd, irredeemable legacy."
With a highly sensitive but unsparing eye, these essays argue that new moral and linguistic categories are required in order to respond properly and honestly to the reality of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
ANNA AKHMATOVA by Roberta Reeder
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"But this very density is what will make Reeder's biography not only the starting point for all future engagements with Akhmatova's life and work but more generally a key source for scholars exploring the thorny entanglement of politics and art in 20th- century Russia. (32 pages of photos, not seen)"
By meticulously tracing renowned Russian poet Akhmatova's tortuous life, this extraordinarily detailed biography builds up a panoramic view of Soviet cultural history. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"But this is a sensible, thoughtful, and—in revealing the foibles of many key actors—an often amusing book. (16 illustrations, not seen)"
A valuable study of how British propaganda helped to bring the US into WW II, which shows too why such a study has been so slow to appear. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >