Let Me Finish , by Roger Angell (Harcourt) Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

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BIOGRAPHY

Let Me Finish , by Roger Angell (Harcourt)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"'Life is tough and brimming with loss,'" the longtime New Yorker contributor concludes in this collection of autobiographical essays, 'and the most we can do about it is to glimpse ourselves clear now and then, and find out what we feel about familiar scenes and recurring faces this time around.'"

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My Dog Tulip, by J. R. Ackerley (NYRB Classics)
Reviewed by Terry Castle ("Walk-In Closet", November 2006)

"The British writer J. R. Ackerley found the love of his life in Queenie, a female German shepherd...She is renamed Tulip in this classic—and hilarious—memoir of their liaison."

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The Most Famous Man in America, by Debby Applegate (DoubleDay)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"Henry Ward Beecher was a charismatic preacher and abolitionist superstar, until a late-nineteenth-century sex scandal brought him down."

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At Canaan's Edge, by Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"The third volume of Branch's magisterial biography of Martin Luther King Jr. stretches from 'bloody Sunday' in Selma to King's assassination, in Memphis, three years later."

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Richard Hofstadter, by David S. Brown (Chicago)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A biography of the influential historian who, the author reveals, had a paranoid style all his own."

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The Bystander , by Nick Bryant (Basic)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"John F. Kennedy was a dynamic, inspirational leader, albeit one with a shallow and cynical record on civil rights."

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Orson Welles: Hello Americans, by Simon Callow (Jonathan Cape)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("Orson Agonistes", September 2006)

"Callow is as indefatigable a researcher as he is stylish a writer...Even more important, Callow is exquisitely sensitive to the force—the seductiveness, the menace, the usefulness—of Welles's immense charm."

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My Life in France, by Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"A posthumously published memoir by the late chef, focusing on her time in France from 1948 to 1954, which sparked her—and, by extension, everyone else's—interest in French cooking."

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Seminary Boy, by John Cornwell (Doubleday)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"The author of Hitler's Pope recalls an adolescence spent training for the priesthood in 1950s England."

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I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But...: Backstage Gossip from American Idol & the Secrets That Can Make You a Star, by Simon Cowell (Broadway Books)
Reviewed by Dale Peck ("Production Values", November 2006)

"In his memoir, Cowell proudly reports he was labeled 'the Antichrist of the music industry'....What he understood was that it's not always about "the music," but about the context that's created for the person singing."

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Let Every Nation Know: John F. Kennedy in His Own Words, by Robert Dallek and Terry Golway (Sourcebooks Media Fusion)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ("Feckless Youth", September 2006)

"[Dallek's] book made it agonizingly clear that Kennedy was in no sense competent to be the chief executive, and that after being too sick and too crazed with dope to handle the celebrated confrontation with Khrushchev in Vienna, he resolved abruptly to pick a macho fight in Indochina."

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Trickster Travel, by Natalie Zemon Davis (FSG)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"The exhausting tale of al-Hasan al-Wazzan: born in Spain, captured by pirates, and forcibly converted to Christianity, he won fame as Leo Africanus after publishing the first geography of Africa to appear in Europe."

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Soldier, by Karen DeYoung (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", November 2006)

"A consistently interesting recollection of [Colin Powell's] varied career, shot through with heavy doses of duty, honor, and rectitude."

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Anna of All the Russians, by Elaine Feinstein (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"A biography of Anna Akhmatova, who was born under czar, suffered under Stalin, and died under Brezhnev, yet maintained a poetic sensibility throughout."

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Jim Brown , by Mike Freeman (William Morrow)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", November 2006)

"Jim Brown was, in the eyes of this biographer, 'the greatest pure football player the sport has ever known'—not to mention a civil-rights activist, the first black action-movie star, and the unwitting quarry of a hyperactive FBI."

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Caesar, by Adrian Goldsworthy (Yale)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", October 2006)

"A monumental biography of the Roman leader that wisely confines itself primarily to contemporaneous sources...Goldsworth writes with great style."

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The Kennedy Mystique: Creating Camelot, by Jon Goodman, Hugh Sidey, Letitia Baldridge, and Robert Dallek (National Geographic Society)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ("Feckless Youth", September 2006)

"An unembarrassed account by men like the late Hugh Sidey of Time of how the "Jack"/"Jackie" household was served by the press at the time, and of how it has been airbrushed and whitewashed since."

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Mommy Dressing: A Love Story, After A Fashion, by Lois Gould
Reviewed by Sally Singer ( "Mommies Dearest", January/February 2006)

"Gould's detailed account of her mother's rise to prominence on Seventh Avenue...is peppered with lethal mother—daughter moments, sixty years on."

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You'll Never Nanny In This Town Again, by Suzanne Hansen (Crown)
Reviewed by Caitlin Flanigan (How To Treat the Help?, June 2006)

"Hansen was a competent child-care provider, an unrepentant snoop, and a star-fucker extraordinaire, and she has produced a trash book of fearsome quality."

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Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream, by M. Jeffrey Hardwick and Victor Gruen (University of Pennsylvania)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwartz ("Babes in Toyland", November 2006)

"M. Jeffrey Hardwick's Mall Maker, a deeply researched...conventional narrative, concentrates on Gruen's impact on American society, but almost completely ignores his architectural and design achievements."

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Realistic Visionary, by Peter R. Henriques (Virginia)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A biography of George Washington focusing on his religious convictions, romantic entanglements, and views on slavery."

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Things I Didn't Know, by Robert Hughes (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", November 2006)

"The noted art critic recounts his Australian boyhood, his deepening romance with the art world, and the heady atmosphere of 1960s London, as well as the horrific 1999 traffic accident that almost took his life and made him a pariah in his homeland."

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Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life, by Erica Jong (Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin)
Reviewed by Cristina Nehring ("Zip it", September 2006)

"Dream on, Erica. This book—like your last dozen—is amazing only for its mediocrity. It is amazing only for its meanspiritedness, its tedium, its awkward prose, and its stunning self-absorption."

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Into My Own, by Roger Kahn (St. Martin's)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"The eminent sportswriter pays tribute to the people who most shaped his life, including his parents, Robert Frost, and Pee Wee Reese."

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Jack Kennedy: The Education of a Statesman, by Barbara Leaming (W. W. Norton)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ("Feckless Youth", September 2006)

"The great merit of Barbara Leaming's new book is to demonstrate how dependent the young Kennedy became upon a charmed circle of British noblemen, and also how obsessed he became with the need to match himself with that greatest of Anglo-American aristocrats, Winston Churchill."

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The Life of Benjamin Franklin: Journalist, 1706-1730 and Printer and Publisher, 1730-1747, by J. A. Leo Lemay (Pennsylvania)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"The first two installments of a projected seven-volume biography of one of the portlier Founding Fathers."

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Teta, Mother, and Me , by Jean Said Makdisi (Norton)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Edward Said's sister's remembrance of her mother and grandmother serves as a personal history of three generations of Palestinians."

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Art Czar, by Alice Goldfarb Marquis (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A life of Clement Greenberg, the most influential American art critic of the twentieth century."

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Andrew Carnegie, by David Nasaw (Penguin)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ("Rich Man's Burden", December 2006)

"Nasaw reminds us of a time that many people have forgotten: that period of the 'Hungry '40s' when the United States was considered by the radicals of Europe to be a lantern of liberty, equality, and fraternity."

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Justice for All , by Jim Newton (Riverhead)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", December 2006)

"A thorough and enlightening biography of Earl Warren, a man responsible for no shortage of polarizing Supreme Court decisions... Newton avers that Warren had an instinctively conservative temperament somewhat at odds with his liberal legacy, and presents his life as a 'reminder that centrism today is a lonely idea, honored mostly in the breach.'"

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Fever , by Peter Richmond (Holt)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("Lee and Sherman", April 2006)

"Peggy Lee was one of the first great singer-songwriters... Richmond firmly grasps Lee's musicianship, even if his sound judgments often lack specificity. But he fails to put Lee—in many ways as emblematic of mid-century America's cultural and sexual style as was Sinatra—in a broader context, in the way that Gary Giddins brilliantly did for Bing Crosby."

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A Well-Paid Slave, by Brad Snyder (Viking)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", October 2006)

"A biography of Curt Flood, the idiosyncratic, classical-piano-playing center fielder who took his quest for free-agency rights all the way to the Supreme Court, in the process becoming the reluctant Spartacus of North American professional sports."

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The Sack of Rome, by Alexander Stille (Penguin Press)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"Silvio Berlusconi, the author argues, is part Bill Gates, part Rupert Murdoch, part George Steinbrenner—and almost entirely awful."

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Enslaved by Ducks: How One Man Went From Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order, by Bob Tarte (Algonquin Books)
Reviewed by Bill Maher ("Zoologically Correct", October 2006)

"A wry memoir by a Midwest-based reviewer of world music who naively buys a rabbit and eventually finds himself playing hand servant to a collection of emotionally damaged parrots, geese, turkeys, and other birds."

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Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, by Laura Tyson Li (Atlantic Monthly)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"The first biography of the Wellesley-educated charmer portrays her as a tragically complex Scarlett O'Hara figure, at once outspoken and submissive, devoutly religious and coldly calculating, triumphantly Chinese and alien to her compatriots."

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The Lost, by Daniel Mendelsohn (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A New York Review of Books critic recounts his search across three continents for people with knowledge of his relatives who perished in the Holocaust."

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A Paper Life, by Tatum O'Neal
Reviewed by Sally Singer ( "Mommies Dearest", January/February 2006)

"O'Neal's A Paper Life is a ridiculously convincing indictment of her parents (O'Neal and Joanna Moore) and her father's girlfriend (Farrah Fawcett) as the people least equipped to raise children ever, even by Hollywood's limbo-bar standards."

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Moving the Chains , by Charles P. Pierce (FSG)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"A Boston-based sportswriter chronicles a season in the life of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady."

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Fortunate Son, by Charles Ponce de Leon (Hill and Wang)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A brief new life of Elvis Presley emphasizes his conservative political values and inability to adjust to changing times (the King's surface chameleon tendencies notwithstanding)."

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Supermob, by Gus Rosso (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", October 2006)

"The story of Sidney Korshak, the legendary fixer for the Chicago mob who manipulated Hollywood, Las Vegas, and certain key sectors of the political realm through a combination of sweetheart deals and good old-fashioned muscle."

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The Essential Chaplin, edited by Richard Schickel (Ivan R. Dee)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"Introducing this new anthology, Schickel makes the case for the "kinetic genius" of the Little Tramp, recognizing Chaplin as the performer who made cinema intellectually respectable."

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Fatal Purity, by Ruth Scurr (Metropolitan)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Maximilien Robespierre began his career as a provincial lawyer opposed to the death penalty; he ended up as something quite different. He also looked like a cat and was partial to elaborate waistcoats."

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Mockingbird, Charles J. Shields (Holt)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"A life of Harper Lee, who wrote one novel and then dropped from sight, refusing all interview requests (including the author's) for the past forty years."

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Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford, edited by Peter Y. Sussman (Knopf)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ("Poison Pen: The exceptional insouciance of Jessical Mitford", October 2006)

"These themes—of kinship and class, flight from same, residual loyalties to same, commitment to revolution, and stiff-upper-lippery in the face of calamity—recur throughout this assemblage of Jessica's correspondence."

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A Writer's Life , by Gay Talese (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"The nonfiction master tells his own story and several others."

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Point to Point Navigation, by Gore Vidal (Doubleday)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", November 2006)

"Vidal chronicles the past forty years of his life among various clutches of literati, glitterati, and royalty. Mortality haunts this volume...but what's perhaps most poignant is the book's unevenness—a fierce literary wit having grown somewhat weaker with age."

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Stravinsky: The Second Exile, by Stephen Walsh (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"The concluding volume of this two-part biography follows Igor Stravinsky from Paris to two destinations perhaps not immediately associated with the composer: California and the 1970s."

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Kingfish, by Richard D. White Jr. (Random House)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Huey Long: ruthless autocrat or populist hero? Actually, both."

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LBJ, by Randall B. Woods (Free Press)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"Lyndon B. Johnson was undoubtedly flawed—just not as much as some other biographers would have it."

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The Sound of No Hands Clapping, by Toby Young (De Capo)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"The bumbling Hollywood adventures of the author of How to Lose Friends and Alienate People."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/11/let-me-finish-by-roger-angell-harcourt-reviewed-by-benjamin-healy-and-benjamin-schwarz-cover-to-cover-may-2006/305345/