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Biography 23.2 (2000) 418-471
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Contributing editors William Bruneau, Brian Cassity, Michael Fassiotto, Douglas Hilt, Corey Hollis, Noel Kent, Gabriel Merle, Barbara Bennett Peterson, Forrest R. Pitts, Bronwen Solyom, and Paula Willoquet-Maricondi provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include the The American Historical Review, American Quarterly, American Scientist, French Studies, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), Guardian Weekly, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of World History, Le Monde des Livres, Los Angeles Times Book Review (LATBR), New York Review of Books (NYRB), New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), New Yorker, Opera News, Pacific Historical Review, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Revue d'histoire littéraire de la France, Science, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), Washington Post Weekly Edition (WP), and The Weekend Australian.
A Useful Woman: The Early Life of Jane Addams. Gioia Dilberto. New York: Lisa Drew/Scribner, 1999. 318 pp. $26.00.
"The book's subtitle, 'The Early Life of Jane Addams,' is misleadingly modest: Dilberto gives us Addams's life through the end of the 19th century, when, at the age of 40, she was already an influential figure in Chicago and was gaining national renown. The author greatly admires her subject, who she includes with Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. on 'a roster of great Americans . . . who made lasting contributions to social justice.' But perhaps because the public Addams has been fairly well chronicled, Dilberto focuses on her private life--as documented in letters to the family, co-workers and close friends."
Michael Kazin. NYTBR, Sept. 26, 1999: 24.
'Aini, Sadr Al-din
The Sands of Oxus: Boyhood Reminiscences of Sadriddin Aini. Sadriddin Aini. Translated from the Tajik Persian with an Introduction by John R. Perry and Rachel Lehr. Bibliotheca Iranica: Literature Series 2. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda, 1998. 277 pp. $24.95.
"Sadr al-din 'Aini (1878-1954) is considered by many to be the 'father of the modern Tajik language.' . . . A member of the Young Bukharan intellectual movement, 'Aini went on to become one of Central Asia's leading educational reformers. . . . He was the first to write novels in the newly defined Tajik language (as opposed to classical Persian), in addition to poetry, short stories, scholarly studies, essays, and other literary works, [End Page 418] though he also wrote in the Turkish dialect now known as Uzbek. . . . 'Aini's account of village life at the twilight of Central Asia's premodern history provides a rare picture of traditional society in that part of the world. Though the author's reformist biases are evident in his harsh portrayal of social injustices, economic hardship, and the stagnation brought on by fossilized traditions, his words paint a rich canvas of bygone life that can hardly fail to move the reader."
Richard Foltz. Journal of Asian Studies 58.3 (Aug. 1999): 824-25.
Woody Allen: A Biography. John Baxter. New York: Carroll and Graf, 1999. 488 pp. $27.00.
"Touted as the first major study of Allen since his breakup with Mia Farrow and his pairing off with her adopted daughter, John Baxter's 'Woody Allen' devotes a chapter to each film or two, chronicling the minutiae right down to the production costs and box office receipts. The same dispassionate tone is brought to bear on Allen's personal life."
Ted Loos. NYTBR, Jan. 2, 2000: 15.
Louis Althusser, Un sujet sans procès: Anatomie d'un passé très récent. Eric Marty. Paris: Gallimard, "L'Infini," 1999. 130 pp. F130.
The destiny of this philosopher of international repute, who strangled his wife (1980), was discharged without even appearing in court, confined to a mental hospital, and wrote a staggering autobiography (1985), is haunting the end of the century. For Eric Marty, the time has come for the case to stand trial: severe and uncompromising as it is, this book is a kind of tribute to Truth and to the man who became unable to serve it.
Patrick Kékichian. Le Monde des Livres, Nov. 5, 1999: 1.
Where Did It All Go Right? A. Alvarez. London: Richard Cohen Books, 1999. 244 pp. £20.00.