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Biography 24.3 (2001) 681-767

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Reviewed Elsewhere

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 American Quarterly, American Scientist, Cape Argus, Cape Times, The Citizen, East Cape Weekend, Femina, Globe and Mail (Toronto), The Historian, The Independent on Saturday, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, Los Angeles Times Book Review (LATBR), Mail and Guardian, Le Monde des Livres, The New Yorker, New York Review of Books, (NYRB),New York Times Book Review (NYTBR), Pacific Historical Review, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Saturday Dispatch, Science, The Spectator, The Star, The Sunday Independent, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Tribune, Times Literary Supplement (TLS), True Love, Washington Post National Weekly Edition (WP), The Weekend Australian, and The Women's Review of Books.

Acton, Lord John
Lord Acton. Roland Hill. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000. 576 pp. $39.95.

"The present [work] is the largest and fullest one-volume biography, superbly researched and well-written by Roland Hill, whose interest in Acton and whose relations with some of his descendants had begun decades ago. It merits much praise because, in addition to the enormous amount of material relating to Acton's life and thought, that life and Acton's mind were not simple."

John Lukacs. LATBR, Apr. 8, 2001: 5.

Adams, John
John Adams. David McCullough. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001. 751 pp. $35.00.

"A compelling new biography . . . restores to life the wise and endearing American original. . . . Part of the vast popular appeal of McCullough's books springs from the unmistakable, contagious affection he feels for his subjects. . . . McCullough is clearly determined not to get bogged down in textbook history. He focuses instead on personalities, bringing his characters vividly to life while unfolding a story that fairly sweeps his readers along."

John Rhodehamel. LATBR, June 3, 2001: 7-8.

"This big but extremely readable book is by far the best biography of Adams ever written. . . . McCullough takes us through [the public events] in graceful and readable prose. But . . . [his] focus remains always on Adams and his [End Page 681] personal relationships, especially his relationship with his wife, Abigail. . . . In an important sense, this biography is the story of a marriage, and what a wonderful marriage it was. . . . That McCullough can make us care about this couple as if they were our intimate friends is a measure of his achievement. Indeed, his special gift as an artist is his ability to recreate past human beings in all their fullness and all their humanity. In John and Abigail Adams he has found characters worthy of his talent."

Gordon S. Wood. NYRB, June 21, 2001: 33-37.

"John Adams doubted that historians would ever record the history of the Revolution accurately. Now, 175 years after his death, we can at least give Adams the esteem he deserves. It remains true nonetheless that the wonderfully congenial subject of McCullough's carefully researched, lovingly written biography is more consistently companionable, and also less interesting, than John Adams was in his own time."

Pauline Maier. NYTBR, May 27, 2001: 9-10.

Addams, Jane
A Useful Woman: The Early Life of Jane Addams. Gioia Diliberto. New York: A Lisa Drew Book/Scribner, 1999. 318 pp. $26.00.

"Diliberto's style is graceful and engaging, as any good academic book should be, but unfortunately for scholars, this is not an academic book. There are two major flaws. One is that she usually allows her narrative to stand on its own, without pushing analysis. . . . The other flaw is Diliberto's lack of rigorous documentation. . . . Yet this book is a competent introduction to Jane Addams for the general reader."

Theresa Kaminski. The Historian 63.2 (Winter 2001): 407-408.

Agoult, Marie D'
The Life of Marie d'Agoult, alias Daniel Stern. Phyllis Stock-Morton. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2000. 320 pp. $42.50.

"Stock-Morton is far more interested in demonstrating how d'Agoult tentatively cultivated her own talents during the difficult union [with Liszt]--writing a series of articles under Liszt's name and opening a...


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