A must for CSNY fans and anyone who remembers the era when it ruled the pop charts.

CSNY

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH AND YOUNG

An enthusiastic history of one of rock music’s most significant supergroups.

Rock journalist Doggett (Electric Shock: From the Gramophone to the iPhone: 125 Years of Pop Music, 2015, etc.) traces his protagonists from their origins through their early success in the Byrds (David Crosby), the Hollies (Graham Nash), and Buffalo Springfield (Stephen Stills and Neil Young). As the author shows, the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1960s was a meeting place for nearly everyone who came to prominence in folk or rock. Prime among them was Crosby, who strutted around in a cape and whose counterculture credentials included introducing the Beatles to LSD. After one night at a popular music venue, Crosby, Stills, and Nash came together for a stoned singing party that gave birth to a new sound. With the addition of Young and the band’s appearance at Woodstock, the legend was underway as well as the melodrama of fights, breakups, reunions, and excess. Doggett frankly admits that he is a fan of the group, and he traces the band’s career from concert to concert, recording session to recording session. In addition to providing the stories behind the better-known songs, the author spends plenty of time on their lives offstage, including their liaisons with the likes of Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. Throughout, Doggett does a solid job differentiating among the four members of the group, each an interesting, if not necessarily likable, personality. Young gets most of the blame for the group’s breakups, though with four enormous egos, everyone receives a due share. The author backs it all up with voluminous documentation, including interviews with all the participants and ample quotations from contemporary reviews of almost every record and concert, including the members’ solo projects. The narrative is eminently readable, with few dull passages, even when the protagonists are sulking during one of the band’s numerous fights.

A must for CSNY fans and anyone who remembers the era when it ruled the pop charts.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-8302-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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