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Biography 30.2 (2007) 241-313

Reviewed Elsewhere

Contributing editors Nell Altizer, Patricia Angley, Alana Bell, Judith L¨utge Coullie, Michael Fassiotto, Marie-Christine Garneau, Théo Garneau, Douglas Hilt, Noel Kent, John W. I. Lee, Gabriel Merle, Dawn Morais, and Barbara Bennett Peterson, contributed the excerpts for this issue.

Publications reviewed include the American Quarterly, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Far Eastern Economic Review, French Review, French Studies, (Toronto) Globe and Mail, The Guardian, Le Monde des Livres, New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Le Nouvel Observateur, Pacific Historical Review, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Studi Francesi, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP), and the Women's Review of Books; and from South Africa, the African Book Publishing Record;, ArcaMax, Beeld, Books & Leisure, Books/Learning Curve, Die Burger, Cape Argus, Cape Times, Grocott's Mail, Jewish Affairs, Mpumalanga Mirror, Sowetan, The Sunday Independent, Sunday Times, True Love, and The Witness.

Abbey, Edward

Postcards From Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast. Ed. David Peterson. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2006. 296 pp. $24.95.

"If few surprises are embedded in this trim selection of letters, edited by Abbey's pal David Peterson, it's because Abbey, on the page, was always Abbey: free ranging, cymbal crashing, an anarchist in mind as well as politics, encased throughout his life in an ever-shaken snow globe of contradictions, provocations, bathroom-wall jokes and fortissimo declarations.

Jonathan Miles. NYTBR, Nov. 19, 2006: 23.


Abraham, ou la recréation du monde. Raphael Drai. Paris: Fayard, 2006. 592 pp. Euro26.

Is it possible to write a life of Abraham, considering that nobody knows whether that great figure existed in places outside of the Bible? Reading the portrait drawn by Raphael Drai, who is neither historian nor exegete, some will denounce an imposture. But Drai is a man of faith and science for whom skepticism would be tantamount to bad "cartesianism." His merit is to make Abraham alive as if he were one of us. We hear Abraham walking, thinking, working, doubting, and conversing with God. The force of the book is in that unceasing murmur between the Lord and his servant. For a long time a source of division between the three monotheistic religions, Abraham has [End Page 241] paradoxically become a kind of bridge between them. A subject of meditation in a time of generalized fundamentalisms.

Henri Tincq. Le Monde des Livres, Jan. 5, 2007: 10.

Abramoff, Jack

Heist: Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, His Republican Allies, and the Buying of Washington. Peter H. Stone. New York: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2006. 214 pp. $23.00.

"But for all the value of a concise account of their misdeeds, what 'Heist' is missing is the broader context. Jack Abramoff was not a lone scoundrel—or one of a narrow band of individual scoundrels. He was part of an organized effort to transform Washington, to bend it to the will of one party, with the aim of creating a self-reinforcing loop, where a majority could use its clout to dominate all of Washington, work alliances with moneyed interests who would pay to get their way, provide campaign cash to keep their friends in power and benefit from the majority's policy largesse along the way."

Norman J. Ornstein. NYTBR, Jan. 14, 2007: 25.

Addams, Charles

Charles Addams: A Cartoonist's Life. Linda H. Davis. New York: Random House, 2006. 382 pp. $29.95.

"Students or ardent fans of the artist will most likely want to get hold of 'Charles Addams,' which, in addition to the facts, has a generous assortment of Addams cartoons and a number of funny unpublishdd self-portraits. But I direct the rest of the world to the magnificent 1991 collection 'The World of Charles Addams,' which, as Wilfrid Sheed wrote in his introduction, is 'the best possible biography of Charles Addams.' The book is scandalously out of print, but the last time I checked, 13 used copies were available through, for $13.98 and up. Hurry!"

Ben Yagoda. NYTBR, Dec. 3, 2006: 62.

Albertyn, Tertia

So Close...


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