Page by Page: Book Reviews

The Rise and Fall of Robert Kennedy’s Mission to Save America

Rising Justice is a magisterial book by a master historian, an epic sweep of Robert Kennedy and his time as a public figure. It is not a standard biography, but it has the narrative drive of a good biography. There is precious little here about Kennedy as a father, a husband, a son, just a few bits. Much testimony but little gossip. Yet one learns a great deal about Robert Kennedy person as well as Robert Kennedy the politician.

The Wonder World of Whiteness

I am not so sure if Williamson is a conservative as much as he is a contrarian, at times a kind of White Stanley Crouch, though less verbose. At times, a kind of Hunter Thompson but less gonzo. I did not always agree with his interpretation of the world as he saw it, but I always found what he saw stimulating and more than occasionally trenchant.

The House, and How to Run It

Ball’s portrait of Pelosi’s life in politics is a detailed and exhaustive exploration of Pelosi’s life in politics–an important project that fills a needed gap. But the very nature of the book reveals that the role of gender in negotiation is complex, and Ball’s handling of the issue represents a meta-commentary on the challenge of understanding it.

The Culture of Bruising or How Some Black People Argue

Sowell has forthrightly challenged his critics and detractors with the sheer volume of his work. In the blood sport of academic disagreement, that production is the sign of the bruiser. Whatever the reason for the neglect of Sowell, Jason L. Riley provides us with a much-needed book.

Literary Criticism as Autobiography

While Sansom’s September 1, 1939 professes to be a biography of Auden’s poem, the result borne out by the actual structure of Sansom’s text and the nature of its many self-reflective digressions complicates that goal.

Everyone Talks About Bowie

From David Bowie’s cousin to his childhood friends, his managers, musical collaborators, girlfriends, writers such as novelist Hanif Kureishi, and extraneous celebrities to the last word of the midwife present at Bowie’s birth, A Life leaves almost no stone unturned, no corner empty, and no speculation left unsaid.