Although every piece focuses on men, the variation of subjects and the different writing styles combine in a journalism...

Veteran journalist Oney (And the Dead Shall Rise: The Murder of Mary Phagan and the Lynching of Leo Frank, 2003, etc.) pulls together 20 magazine features from three decades of his career.

In an insightful introduction, the author explains why all of the pieces, published from 1977 to 2011, focus on “fascinating” men rather than other topics. Oney decided it would be useful for readers to explain how men become strong, resilient, and compassionate in contemporary American society. After all, he writes, “no one taught me how to be a man,” so maybe male readers would end up better informed and able “to create” and “to explore their inner darkness.” Oney divides his profiles into four sections. First comes “Fighters,” which includes profiles of Herschel Walker and his post-football life, the combat death of young Marine Chris Leon, the techniques of professional basketball coach Hubie Brown, Hollywood security consultant and former Israeli warrior Aaron Cohen, and veteran police reporter Jake Jacoby. Section 2 features “Creators,” including novelist Robert Penn Warren, architect John Portman, musician Herb Alpert, TV executive Brandon Tartikoff, and Hollywood gossip columnist Mark Lisanti. In “Actors,” Oney covers Harrison Ford, Dennis Franz, Nick Nolte, Harry Dean Stanton, and Bryan Brown. The final section, “Desperadoes,” focuses on professional baseball star–turned–cocaine addict Bo Belinsky, musician Gregg Allman, political provocateur Andrew Breitbart, interior designer con man Craig Raywood, and novelist Harry Crews. In the afterword, Oney illuminates how researching and writing the features taught him lessons about journalism and about developing confidence to make his way as a man—fighting, creating, acting, and embracing danger. Throughout, the author displays his strong reporting skills and engaging prose.

Although every piece focuses on men, the variation of subjects and the different writing styles combine in a journalism anthology more satisfying than most.

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-88146-618-8

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Mercer Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017



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




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