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Biography 25.1 (2002) 214-278
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Contributing editors William Bruneau, Judith Coullie, Michael Fassiotto, Corey Hollis, Noel Kent, Gabriel Merle, Barbara Bennett Peterson, Forrest R. Pitts, and Bronwen Solyom provided the excerpts for this issue.
Publications reviewed include Albion, American Quarterly, American Scientist, the Globe and Mail (Toronto), Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of World History, Los Angeles Times Book Review (LATBR), Le Monde des Livres, The New Yorker, the New York Review of Books (NYRB), the New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Le Nouvel Observateur, Science, the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), the Weekend Australian, and the Women's Review of Books; and from South Africa, the Cape Argus, City Press, d'Arts, De Kat, Eastern Province Herald, Mail & Guardian, The Mercury, The Natal Witness, Pace, Pretoria News, Saturday Dispatch, The Star, The Sunday Independent, Sunday Times, Sunday Tribune, and True Love.
Hearing Grasshoppers Jump: The Story of Raymond Ackerman as told to Denise Pritchard. Raymond Ackerman. Cape Town: David Philip, 2001. 342 pp. R149.95.
This biography of businessman Raymond Ackerman recounts the growth of his business empire, situating these developments in the context of South African politics. Ackerman is characterized as an astute strategist, brilliant businessman and someone with a big heart.
De Kat, July-Aug, 2001: 87.
Adenauer: The Father of the New Germany. Charles Williams. New York: Wiley, 2001. 584 pp. $35.00.
"The accomplishments of Adenauer's old age were indeed so extraordinary that they have tended with the passage of time to obscure everything that went before, leaving the impression that it was unimportant and irrelevant to his late triumphs. It is not the least of the merits of Charles Williams's biography that he does not make this assumption, but sets himself the task of demonstrating that Adenauer's tenure as mayor of Cologne between 1917 and 1933 was the school in which he developed the talents that were so conspicuously successful in his postwar career. . . . The title of Williams's excellent book is fully justified."
Gordon A. Craig. NYRB, Nov. 1, 2001: 19-21. [End Page 214]
Lucky Him: The Life of Kingsley Amis. Richard Bradford. London: Peter Owen, 2001. 448 pp. £22.50.
The author goes through Amis's fiction "teasing out parallels with the life. Bradford sheds . . . light on the rest of the Amis canon, and as a result of his painstaking and well-written study, the reader is brought closer to the man and his work."
Simon Rae. TLS, Nov. 9, 2001: 25.
Marie Antoinette: The Journey. Antonia Fraser. New York: Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday, 2001; Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2001; London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2001. 517 pages. $35.00, $Can39.95, £25.00.
"Antonia Fraser's biography . . . cuts beneath the symbolism to reveal Marie Antoinette's personality and the court culture in which it was formed. Anyone familiar with Fraser's earlier work . . . will know exactly what to expect: thorough research, fast-paced writing and loving attention to detail. Rather than constructing sophisticated conceptual frameworks, Fraser adopts a hands-on approach to history. You can't understand a society, she insists, unless you know what kind of clothes people wore, what kind of food they ate and what kind of laundry lists they had. Sometimes . . . this approach threatens to become overwhelming."
David A. Wilson. Globe and Mail, Oct. 20, 2001: D7.
"The Marie Antoinette who emerges from these pages is fully formed, a feat for which Fraser deserves much praise. . . . She synthesizes these [archival] sources with nearly every other book written about the queen into an often sympathetic portrait."
Cara Mia DiMassa. LATBR, Oct. 21, 2001: 4-5.
"Antonia Fraser has written an account of Marie Antoinette's life which is sensitive and sympathetic. She is fully at home in the world of the eighteenth century court, and evokes the journey of a tragic figure."
Robert Gildea. TLS, July 20, 2001: 31.
Benedict Arnold: A Traitor in Our Midst. Barry K. Wilson. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen's UP, 2001. 296 pages. $Can39.95.
"Having read parliamentary reporter Barry Wilson's attempt to put...