Next book



Despite tangential wanderings, this account offers an important historical perspective on two continuing struggles.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

In this debut memoir, a business executive and newspaper columnist recounts her path from a Mississippi farm to high-level positions in the Midwest, contending with racism and gender discrimination.

A black child of the 1950s and ’60s, born and raised on a family-owned farm in the heart of the segregated South, Ellis always knew she was not cut out for rural life. In 1964, at the age of 14, the author found her inspiration and direction from the broadcasts of Eric Sevareid, who was a regular commentator on Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News. “Someday, I am going to do what Sevareid does,” she told her mother. Years later, while completing her course work for a doctorate in communication arts, she was introduced to the writings of Walter Lippmann: “Eric Sevareid lit the flame within me to become a political columnist. Walter Lippmann set it ablaze.” Lippmann became the subject of her Ph.D. dissertation. Throughout most of her professional career in business and government, she continued to be a columnist for Milwaukee and Kansas City newspapers and blogs. Ellis married young, while still in college. The union produced two sons, but, according to the author, it soon became abusive and lasted only a few years. Several relationships followed, one of them also abusive. But more than 11 years after her divorce, she tied the knot with a man named Frank, to whom she is still happily married. In her book, enhanced by family photos, Ellis sets her personal battles within the context of the civil rights and feminist movements, both of which helped fuel her determination. She recounts stories of sexual harassment that are especially relevant in today’s #MeToo environment. And the early sections offer striking portraits of segregation, as she recounts cross burnings in front of her house and the murder of a friend’s father who was involved in voter registration. But her academic training sometimes gets in the way of a compelling narrative. A long section detailing the works and philosophies of Lippmann is a distraction from the engrossing personal tale and has the feel of a dissertation presentation.

Despite tangential wanderings, this account offers an important historical perspective on two continuing struggles.

Pub Date: Feb. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64114-753-8

Page Count: 424

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

Next book


This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

Next book



An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

Close Quickview