| May 17, 2011
It hardly seems possible that there could be room for yet another important biography on so iconic a star as Marlene Dietrich, already the subject of a remarkably candid yet detached memoir by her daughter Maria Riva and of the late Steven Bach's...
| Nov 23, 2010
The relationship of Eleanor and Franklin Delano Roosevelt has fascinated observers ever since they married. Friends and relatives were surprised in 1905 by the wedding of a handsome, flirtatious, fun-loving mama's boy to his serious-minded cousin, who did...
| Apr 10, 2011
The Last Greatest Magician in the World
Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards
Tarcher/Penguin: 377 pp., $26.95
It takes some courage to write the biography of a man the reading public has mostly forgotten....
| Mar 6, 2011
Ah, the sounds of spring. The crack of the bat, the smack of the ball hitting the catcher's mitt, the ka-ching of cash registers totaling up sales of books on baseball out this season.
Just as ESPN seems to lean toward the American League East for...
| Nov 21, 2010
Random House: 770 pp., $35
After spending close to eight triumphant years in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt left Washington in 1909 on top of the world, a charismatic leader beloved by his countrymen and greeted...
| Apr 30, 2012
NEW YORK — Judy Garland, often drunk and occasionally disheveled, in Peter Quilter's biographical drama "End of the Rainbow," is rummaging for booze in her suite at the Ritz hotel. She's wired, and not simply because of the pills she can't seem to...
| Dec 11, 2011
Simon Sebag Montefiore's epic survey of Jerusalem's sanguinary history does not inspire confidence in the civilizing qualities of religion. The pile of corpses accumulated over millenniums from the persecutions both perpetrated and endured by all three of...
| Oct 31, 2010
It's a peculiar person — if not an unabashed sadist — who takes pleasure in someone's stuttering, particularly at a public event. Yet when filmmaker Tom Hooper heard that Colin Firth couldn't stop stammering while accepting an acting honor for...
| Apr 26, 2012
Detroit: A Biography
Chicago Review Press: 288 pp., $24.95
In February 1863, Thomas Faulkner, a Detroit saloon owner of mixed-race background, was arrested on the charge of raping a 9-year-old white girl. Despite his protestations of...
| Nov 21, 2010
The handwritten pages of James Boswell's " London Journal 1762-1763" languished forgotten in a trunk in Scotland before being brought to light in the middle of the last century and issued under the auspices of Yale University. This event, together with...
| Dec 2, 2010
Film both mimics our dreams and provokes our fantasies. The idea that an individual's relationship with it might be a narcotic, a heady mood or attitude, an atmosphere that changes speed and temperature but can never be escaped is central to David...