Religion Book Reviews (page 174)

HERSCHEL by Andy Marino
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Thus, what emerges is a padded, somewhat superficial biography that, from its subtitle on, makes highly inflated claims about its subject."
An engagingly written, if often speculative and flawed, biography of the Polish-German-Jewish youth Herschel Grynszpan, whose November 7, 1938, assassination of German diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris served as the Nazis' pretext for Kristallnacht. Read full book review >
THE HIDDEN ENCYCLICAL OF PIUS XI by Georges Passelecq
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Garry Wills contributes a foreword to this work, which, at a time when the Catholic Church is considering the canonization of Pius XII, may force Catholics and others to reassess his moral failure in a time of crisis."
Certain to reopen the debate on the political, diplomatic, and, most importantly, moral failure of the Catholic Church in the face of fascism and the Holocaust. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"This elegant book offers something for everyone: Scholars will appreciate Miller's well-conceived sociological positioning of this phenomenon (with particular nods to William James and Robert Bellah), and other folks will value the compelling personal testimonies."
One of the most engaging, insightful discussions yet of American Protestantism's recent trend toward ``postdenominational'' churches. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Allitt makes good use of the extensive scholarship available on many of these figures, adding his own incisive observations and showing how their work tried but failed to restore the cultural visibility that the Church had enjoyed in former centuries."
A scholarly and stimulating history of the impact made by gifted thinkers who became Catholics on both sides of the Atlantic between 1825 and 1962, and of the problems they faced in their new Church and in society Generations of penal legislation in Britain and in many parts of the American colonies had left Catholics an uneducated, suspect group. Read full book review >
EVEN THE STARS LOOK LONESOME by Maya Angelou
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Angelou is always rewarded by what life gives back in her travels, and in sharing with us such perceptions chanced upon in rich solitude, she startles with her frank, fresh ability to relate in precise prose whatever she learns."
Angelou's (All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes, 1986, etc.) sixth work of autobiographical reflection again treads ballerina-like on the fine line dividing saying too much and not enough on a variety of heartfelt subjects. Read full book review >

TWO-GUN COHEN by Daniel S. Levy
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 26, 1997

"A diverting tale of the life and crimes of a unique Old China Hand, intertwined with the story of modern China. (8 pages photos, not seen)"
Soon after the turn of the century a Jewish Cockney adventurer arrived in Canada, seeking his—or somebody's—fortune. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 25, 1997

"Without a more informed historical and social context, these profiles don't quite escape the West's flat mental grid of Islam, even as the diversity of figures here hints at the true complexity of contemporary Muslim thought and practice."
This journalist's promising venture, to interview representatives of often-feared Islamic political movements, fails to deliver as much insight as it should. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 1997

"A candid book whose look backward provides a hopeful blueprint for reviving the possibilities that seemed so endless in the 1960s. (Author tour)"
A stunningly revelatory chronicle of a generation long misunderstood. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"Exhausting a useful metaphor, Pickstone inadvertently leaves the impression that within this momentously changed worldview, sex is probably just sex, and spirituality something else entirely."
An oddly pinched view of the eternally provocative combination of religion and sex that does little justice to either, especially the latter. Read full book review >
VISIONS OF JESUS by Phillip H. Wiebe
NON-FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 1997

"It is a pity that in a multidisciplinary study of religion Wiebe largely bypasses theology and the nuanced Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions of discerning the authenticity of visions and situating them in the larger context of religious growth and practice."
Wiebe (Philosophy/Trinity Western Univ., Canada) draws on 30 contemporary visionaries and a wide range of scholarship in an attempt to produce a philosophically coherent critique of visions of Jesus. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: July 17, 1997

"But her adult use of the diary and the recollections is inspired, when not slowed down by bureaucratic documents, and effectively portrays the upheavals of her lost-and- found life."
A portrait of a Jewish child's life in hiding in Belgium during the Holocaust, based on recently rediscovered letters by the author's parents, her own childhood diaries, and other documents. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 16, 1997

"A learned and absorbing book, especially in its account of the reverberations of the Scopes trial in recent American history."
A recapitulation of the celebrated 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Dayton, Tenn.—but one that goes far beyond the courtroom in its analysis. 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 >