BOOK REVIEW: A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee

This biography of the man who took a mediocre comic book company, previously known as Timely, and transformed it into the multi-media empire that is Marvel is a fun, bouncy and entertaining, yet honest portrait of one of recent pop cultural history’s most fascinating, sometimes contradictory, occasionally controversial and always surprising figures. Rather than the […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Fly Girls

Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien (Historical Biography, 2018) This excellently researched and beautifully written book was a hardcover Bestseller last year and is now available in all the usual formats. It’s the riveting yet thoughtful account of a mostly forgotten period in early aviation history and of the struggles, triumphs and tragedies of the comparatively […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Oliver Wendell Holmes

Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas by Stephen Budiansky (Historical Biography, 2019). This extensive and fair-minded biography of perhaps history’s single most influential Associate Justice of the American Supreme Court is something special, indeed. It gives us a great, nuanced portrait of a true intellectual, a man of convictions and courage. Yet […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Wild Bill

Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier’s First Gunfighter by Tom Clavin (History/Biography, February 2019). Tom Clavin, a best-selling and multiple award-winning historical writer, ably follows up his history of one of the Wildest of the Wild West’s cow-towns (Dodge City) with this carefully researched and entertainingly written account of James Butler (“Wild Bill”) […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Looking for Lorraine

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry  by Imani Perry (Biography, 2018). Taken by cancer in 1965, Lorraine Hansberry crammed a great deal of living and achievement into 34 years. A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry’s best-known creation, was the first work of an African-American author on Broadway. Decades later, it’s still […]

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REVIEWED: Black Fortunes

Black Fortunes by Shomari Wills (Socio-Economic History, 2018). This book tells of the only 6 black folks (4 women, 2 men) who were among the 4,047 millionaires in the United States in the first years after Emancipation. In the end, most of them lost much (sometimes all) of what their hard work, sheer nerve and intelligence […]

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