An absorbing, thoroughly researched life of a singular thinker.

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THE PRICE OF PEACE

MONEY, DEMOCRACY, AND THE LIFE OF JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES

Making an impressive book debut, journalist Carter offers a sweeping, comprehensive biography of economist, political theorist, and statesman John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), one of the most influential figures of his time.

As the author shows, Keynes’ prescription for staving off financial disaster led to an important government post for the duration of World War I. “Dispatched to summits all over the world, called to parliamentary debates in the House of Commons, and welcomed into the social circles of the British political elite,” Keynes became Great Britain’s top financial adviser. Carter ably traces the evolution of his thought: He became disillusioned with classical economic theory, which held that market forces always would result in stability, and he came to realize that imperialism promoted inequality rather than spreading humanitarian values. In 1919, he mounted a “devastating attack” on the Treaty of Versailles, predicting with chilling accuracy that the treaty “would march Europe to economic ruin, dictatorship, and war.” In his many economic treatises, Keynes tried to synthesize “the practical, risk-averse, anti-revolutionary conservatism” of Edmund Burke and “the radical democratic ideals advanced by Rousseau.” Although he became hugely wealthy and enjoyed the privileges of his class, at heart, Carter notes, Keynes was an idealist who tried “to democratize the trappings of ruling-class life.” In his personal life, Keynes was a sometimes admired, sometimes cattily dismissed member of the Bloomsbury group of artists and writers, counting among his friends Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and Duncan Grant. He had many male lovers until he met, and married, the dazzling ballerina Lydia Lopokova. Assessing his subject’s legacy, Carter asserts that Keynesianism “is not so much a school of economic thought as a spirit of radical optimism” that “was for a time synonymous with liberal internationalism—the idea that shrewd, humane economic management could protect democracies from the siren songs of authoritarian demagogues and spread peace and prosperity around the globe.”

An absorbing, thoroughly researched life of a singular thinker.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-50903-5

Page Count: 656

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

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The debut memoir from the pop and fashion star.

Early on, Simpson describes the book she didn’t write: “a motivational manual telling you how to live your best life.” Though having committed to the lucrative deal years before, she “walked away,” fearing any sort of self-help advice she might give would be hypocritical. Outwardly, Simpson was at the peak of her success, with her fashion line generating “one billion dollars in annual sales.” However, anxiety was getting the better of her, and she admits she’d become a “feelings addict,” just needing “enough noise to distract me from the pain I’d been avoiding since childhood. The demons of traumatic abuse that refused to let me sleep at night—Tylenol PM at age twelve, red wine and Ambien as a grown, scared woman. Those same demons who perched on my shoulder, and when they saw a man as dark as them, leaned in to my ear to whisper, ‘Just give him your light. See if it saves him…’ ” On Halloween 2017, Simpson hit rock bottom, and, with the intervention of her devoted friends and husband, began to address her addictions and underlying fears. In this readable but overlong narrative, the author traces her childhood as a Baptist preacher’s daughter moving 18 times before she “hit fifth grade,” and follows her remarkable rise to fame as a singer. She reveals the psychological trauma resulting from years of sexual abuse by a family friend, experiences that drew her repeatedly into bad relationships with men, most publicly with ex-husband Nick Lachey. Admitting that she was attracted to the validating power of an audience, Simpson analyzes how her failings and triumphs have enabled her to take control of her life, even as she was hounded by the press and various music and movie executives about her weight. Simpson’s memoir contains plenty of personal and professional moments for fans to savor.

An eye-opening glimpse into the attempted self-unmaking of one of Hollywood’s most recognizable talents.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289996-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 16, 2020

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