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Biography 23.1 (2000) 264-301
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Contributing editors William Bruneau, Brian Cassity, Michael Fassiotto, Gloria Fisk, Douglas Hilt, Corey Hollis, Noel Kent, Gabriel Merle, Jeanette Smith, and Paula Willoquet-Maricondi provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include the Chronicle of Higher Education, Film Quarterly, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Guardian Weekly, Los Angeles Times Book Review (LATBR), Le Monde des Livres, New England Quarterly, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Opera News, Revue d'Histoire Littéraire de la France, Screen, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP), The Weekend Australian, and The Women's Review of Books.
A Useful Woman: The Early Years of the Life of Jane Addams. Gioia Diliberto. New York: Scribner, 1999. 388 pp. $26.00.
"Diliberto's biography . . . offers neither fresh revelations nor original interpretation, and is based on the scholarship of other historians. Factual errors . . . also litter the narrative. Still, Diliberto, a gifted writer, has written a lively, accessible biography that will introduce readers to Addams, the woman. . . . We still await the magisterial biography worthy of this remarkable woman."
Ruth Rosen. LATBR, Sept. 5, 1999: 4.
Edward Albee: A Singular Journey. Mel Gussow. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1999. 448 pp. $20.00.
"Gussow has the advantage and disadvantage of knowing his subject at close range, having given him many favorable reviews at both Newsweek and The Times, published lengthy profiles of him, and had him as a guest at his house. Such a nexus was necessary to gain access to Albee's private papers, to various friends and lovers, and to the umbrageous playwright himself. On the other hand, hard-nosed criticism of Albee's work is kept to a minimum here. Still, this is an honorable enterprise that avoids adulation, even if it keeps the warts in somewhat softened focus."
John Simon. WP, Aug. 16, 1999: 32. [End Page 264]
Love in Exile: An American Writer's Memoir of Life in Divided Berlin. Edith Anderson. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth, 1999. 408 pp. $29.50.
"Edith Anderson's memoir rescues the form. Her account of her experience is embedded in the history of our time and is told in a true voice, honest, passionately loving, witty and enchantingly youthful."
Helen Yglesias. Women's Review of Books 16.8 (May 1999): 1, 3.
Perry Anderson: The Merciless Liberty of History. Gregory Elliott. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1998. 340 pp. $39.95.
"Gregory Elliott seeks to understand [Anderson's] intellectual achievements in light of his political commitments. He charts Anderson's often torturous political evolution." This is "the finest full-length study of Anderson's work.
Andrew Gamble. TLS, July 23, 1999: 25.
Annenberg, Moses and Walter
Legacy: A Biography of Moses and Walter Annenberg. Christopher Ogden. Boston: Little, Brown, 1999. 615 pp. $29.95; Can$41.00.
"Ogden . . . was given untrammelled access to family, friends and papers. He has done Walter proud, but he is not deferential, and he treats squarely Moses' [Walter's father] putative criminal behaviour. He slides a little too fast over the suicide of Walter's son and the attempted suicide of his only other child, a daughter, which leads one to suspect that a little less chasing of the almighty dollar and a little more family life might have been a good thing. Legacy is also an account of family life deep within the Jewish aristocracy of wealth."
Elizabeth Nickson. Globe and Mail, Sept. 25, 1999: D18.
"Ogden is a Time correspondent whose decidedly unauthorized biography of Pamela Harriman, 'Life of the Party,' was the biggest unmasking since Toto pulled back the curtain shielding the Great and Terrible Oz. Here he draws on extraordinary access to Walter Annenberg and to his family's papers to fashion an elegantly written account that is sympathetic without being fawning."
Richard Norton Smith. NYTBR, July 25, 1999: 7.
Love Across Color Lines: Ottilie Assing and Frederick Douglass. Maria Diedrich. New York: Hill and Wang, 1999. 480 pp. $35.00.
"Maria Diedrich's 'Love Across Color Lines' explores...