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And Our Critics Commend

June 29, 1986

The Late, Great Lakes, William Ashworth (Knopf). "Well-researched and informative. . . . The sad list of past insults to the Great Lakes mounts in Ashworth's book like a Greek tragedy" (David M. Graber).

Hard-Boiled Dames: A Brass-Knuckled Anthology of the Toughest Women From the Classic Pulps, edited by Bernard Drew (St. Martin's), "spirits the reader away" to the world of the pulp magazines, where "the best way to fight sadness was to dress it up in costume, give it a silly name and get Queen Sue, the Domino Lady and Trixie Meehan to chase it away" (Carolyn See).

Murrow: His Life and Times, A. M. Sperber (Freundlich). "An important book on every level--history, biography, morality, relevance to the concerns of today and to problems that will not go away tomorrow or the day after. . . . Not least among the qualities that make Sperber's book compelling are the frequent appearances of people of lower visibility than the stars and superstars who necessarily crowd the mural" (Norman Corwin).

Enter Talking, Joan Rivers with Richard Meryman (Delacorte). (Florence King). "Those who expect this memoir to be a compendium of one-liners will be disappointed. . . . Chiefly, it is a deeply felt and superbly written story of an incredible struggle, with barely a trace of that smiling-through-tears banality that infects most books of this sort" (Florence King).

Those Who Blink, William Mills (Louisiana State University), "evokes Louisiana as a spiritual frontier between agrarian past, petroleum present and technological future." Mills knows the feel and the smell and the sound of country Louisiana towns, "and has managed to yoke them violently together in his first novel" (John William Corrington).

Success Stories, Russell Banks (Harper & Row). "Quite steadily, and often powerfully, Russell Banks has been devising fictional varieties of the 'this is poison' labels on cigarette advertisements." Many of the stories collected here "repeat, dolefully instead of tragically, the theme of imaginary betterment contained in 'Continental Drift' " (Richard Eder).

The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting, Thomas C. Leonard (Oxford University). "A splendid, if episodic book. . . . Leonard demonstrates that the history of American political coverage is a story of cozy collaboration between the press and the politicians" (Gaye Tuchman).

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