In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.
The leitmotif of these tales is dispossession: the Czech people struggling to remain individuals in a state where individualism is literally a crime. Faced with the hand-tailored sadism and iron whimsy of occupying forces, these men and women must make a choice: resist or submit.
Fascinating characters breeze through Vaill’s pages as they once drifted through that lobby, and as they did in her stellar biography of Sara and Gerald Murphy and their sparkling set...
What can a new biographer add? “Gandhi Before India” by Ramachandra Guha, India’s leading historian, offers plenty...it deals with Gandhi’s life up to 1914...Gandhi’s biographers usually pass over this period in a rush to get to the main show in India. But Mr Guha argues his “African Gandhi” is every bit as worthy of attention as the later man.
Ms Gall’s narrative would have been stronger if she had balanced what she learned from Afghan intelligence sources, who are famously hostile (if for good reason) towards Pakistan’s army, with other views.
Is there anything in the lives to justify Koch and Conan Doyle appearing together between the covers of a single book? Mr. Goetz's enjoyable chronicle makes a spirited, if unproven, case. We are offered racy biographies of the two men. Both were originally provincial general practitioners but ambitious for more.
He may be too optimistic about China and enlightened authoritarianism, and China will not for a long time, if ever, replace America as the safeguarder of the global commons.
While the truth of Rockefeller’s disappearance may never be known, Hoffman deserves much credit for this riveting, multilayered tale.
Evelyn Barish's "The Double Life of Paul de Man" is the first full-length biography of its subject...Though Ms. Barish adds much to our knowledge of this brilliant intellectual counterfeit, her book disappointed me. At times she doesn't seem quite attuned to the way deconstructionists use language.
This book makes a good fist of disentangling the curious charms of the Japanese and for helping outsiders to understand them a little better.
Anne de Courcy tells her story through a mass of evocative detail and a host of memorable characters down the decades and centuries of British life in India. She can make you laugh or break your heart, but she will never bore you.
To be French is to be a citizen of the republic first. Everything else, religion included, comes second. As can be expected, Muslims find this attitude problematic. A vivid illumination of the ongoing, painful and perhaps insoluble French dilemma.
While it is not the literary masterpiece it might have been had Leigh Fermor been able to work his magic, it captures the joy of the open road, the fresh view he gives of Europe as it began to show the stresses that led to world war, and the glimpses of a long-lost life and innocence.
This illuminating collection shows a writer at his most inquisitive, gazing deeply under the surface of things and grappling with the difficulties of personal and collective memory.
Elizabethan England was a ribald wondrous realm ruled by an extraordinary woman and Anna Whitelock brings it vividly to life in The Queen’s Bed.
...Cameron crafts a more straightforward adventure with a narration that nicely captures an ordinary child’s way of thinking—and of blocking out unwelcome knowledge.
Offbeat portrait of the lost past of Central Europe, ruled by the dull but dependable Habsburg dynasty...It’s a meaningful question, one of many that Winder raises in this lucid, often entertaining historical travelogue.
In this excellent addition to the history of domestic service in the 20th century, Lucy Lethbridge has swept the existing archive and added new sources of her own. The result is a richly textured account of what it felt like to...
Junkyard Planet is a gripping odyssey around the world's rubbish mountains and the men and (occasionally) women who mine them and turn them into money.
...richly textured account of the road to war. Her title draws attention to the fact that Europe had seen no major war for decades before 1914, although some powers had fought in limited conflicts...