Category Archives: Book Reviews, Non-Fiction

Review: Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines

Subtitle: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From A friend’s grandfather was on the Titanic when it sank in April 1912. He had traveled from northern Illinois back to England when his father died. Although he had … Continue reading

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Review: Drew Pearson by Oliver Pilat (1973)

Subtitle: An Unauthorized Biography Drew Pearson (1897-1969) is a secondary character in two books I read recently: Newspaper Titan (the biography of Cissy Patterson, Drew Pearson’s one-time mother-in-law) and Poisoning the Press (about Jack Anderson, Drew Pearson’s successor as writer … Continue reading

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Review: December 1941 by Craig Shirley

Subtitle: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World A friend introduced me to a new phrase this week: “narrative non-fiction.” She was using it in categorizing non-fiction as written by Erik Larson, author of Devil in the White … Continue reading

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Review: Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich

Subtitle: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America Positive thinking can’t be negative, right? Wrong! And Barbara Ehrenreich gives curmudgeons of the world license to be as negative (read: realistic) as we like. I’m tired of all … Continue reading

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Review: American Pickers Guide to Picking by Libby Callaway and others

Let me say this: I am not at all interested in becoming an antique picker. But American Pickers, the reality show on the History Channel, is one of my favorite television shows. (Available on Netflix for those of us who … Continue reading

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Irrepressible by Leslie Brody

Subtitle: The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford Biographies of writers, editors, publishers and journalists are among my favorite reads. Many of those folks, especially the publishers, wind up going a little crazy – power hungry, reclusive, quite alone at … Continue reading

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The Binghams of Louisville by David Leon Chandler with Mary Voelz Chandler (1987)

Subtitle: The Dark History Behind One of America’s Great Fortunes When I ordered this book, I thought I would get a story about a newspaper and the family that owned it. What I got instead was a murder mystery. Actually, … Continue reading

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Review: A Secret Gift by Ted Gup

Subtitle: How One Man’s Kindness – and a Trove of Letters – Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression Sam Stone was a man of mystery, able to sever relationships with his own siblings, but also capable of enormous … Continue reading

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Review: Newspaper Titan by Amanda Smith

Subtitle: The Infamous Life and Monumental Times of Cissy Patterson Eleanor Medill Patterson (1881-1948) was high maintenance, high drama and spent more money each year than most people manage to accumulate in a lifetime. She acquired as many enemies as … Continue reading

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Review: King Peggy by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman (Feb 2012)

Subtitle: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village At first, Peggy Bartels thought it was a joke. The 2008 phone call from her native Ghana delivered the news that she … Continue reading

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