By David Remnick
Readers comprehend from his now vintage Lenin's Tomb that Remnick is an excellent portraitist who can carry his matters to lifestyles and demonstrate them in such extraordinary methods as to justify comparability to Dickens, Balzac, or Proust. during this assortment, Remnick's present for personality is sharper than ever, even if he writes approximately Gary Hart stumbling via lifestyles after Donna Rice or Mario Cuomo, who now presides over a Saturday morning radio speak express, fielding questions from crackpots, or approximately Michael Jordan's striking go back to the Chicago Bulls -- or Reggie Jackson's final instances at bat.
Remnick's snap shots of such disparate characters as Alger Hiss and Ralph Ellison, Richard Nixon and Elaine Pagels, Gerry Adams and Marion Barry are unified by means of this awesome skill to create a dwelling personality, in order that the items during this e-book, taken jointly, represent a greatest festival of the consultant characters of our time.
David Remnick's earlier ebook, Lenin's Tomb, used to be a razor-sharp portrayal of either the rulers and the governed within the ultimate days of the Soviet Union. The satan challenge pulls jointly profiles of athletes and politicians on the finish in their careers (Reggie Jackson, Gary Hart), writers thriving in exile (Joseph Brodsky) and suffering of their place of origin (Ralph Ellison), and students looking for the very beginning of the satan (Elaine Pagels). in particular devastating is a profile of radio speak convey host Mario Cuomo, who sincerely most popular lifestyles as Governor of recent York. those items formerly seemed in Esquire, the Washington submit, and the hot Yorker.
From Publishers Weekly
A striking portrait gallery of rogues, heroes, politicos and artistic innovators, this number of essays, the majority of which first seemed within the New Yorker, opens with an ironic examine Gary Hart's exile from public lifestyles after a intercourse scandal drove him out of the 1988 presidential race. Pulitzer Prize winner Remnick (Lenin's Tomb) perspectives Hart's withdrawal as self-martyrdom, and he additionally perceives morality performs in Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry's political comeback after his fall from grace following imprisonment on drug fees, and within the refusal of ex-New York governor Mario Cuomo, a "deeply provincial" determine, to run for President or settle for a splendid court docket seat. within the name piece, non secular historian Elaine Pagels divulges how own tragedies?the deaths of her husband in a mountain-climbing twist of fate and of her six-year-old son from respiration disease?led her to discover early Christianity, the satan and evil. Hollywood clashes with academia within the sour fallout of ex-Columbia photographs president Steve Sohmer and his protegee, Shakespearean pupil Mary Ann McGrail, whom he accused of stealing his thought that Hamlet cryptically mirrors the lifetime of Martin Luther. additionally profiled are Alger Hiss, Ben Bradlee, Michael Jordan, Reggie Jackson, poet Joseph Brodsky, Irish radical Gerry Adams and journalist Murray Kempton. Remnick wrests grand drama from his topics.
From Library Journal
Remnick, who received a Pulitzer Prize for Lenin's Tomb (LJ 6/15/93), wrote those "stories" approximately politicians, athletes, writers, and the scoop company for the recent Yorker. The items are real, yet lots of them additionally learn very like a very good brief story. The name piece, for instance, approximately professor of faith Elaine Heisey Pagels of Princeton, tells of the tragedies of her lifestyles and a few of the situations that surrounded her writing The beginning of devil (LJ 6/1/95). Remnick's gentle, readable type and transparent perception make for fascinating analyzing. advised for well known journalism and present occasions collections.
-?Rebecca Wondriska, Trinity Coll. Lib., Hartford, Ct.
Remnick, a brand new Yorker employees author and winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Lenin's Tomb, is correctly respectful of the belief of reports. "Stories," he states, "the telling and the listening, are a lot of what we are." Remnick's tales commence with humans, a disparate crew that incorporates Gary Hart, Michael Jordan, Joseph Brodsky, Ralph Ellison, Mario Cuomo, and Alger Hiss, they usually research what he describes because the hole among "private existence and public ambition." His tales and other people span literature, scholarship, politics, and activities, and Remnick is as fluent in his observation on Brodsky's poetry as on Jordan's post-up movement. There are tales inside of tales, in addition, as whilst Gary Hart describes a peculiar dialog with Richard Nixon in the course of the funeral of Senator Jacob Javits. Nixon informed him that Bach used to be higher than Brahms, simply because Bach is "tougher" than Brahms. Remnick is a proficient observer, a swish and evocative author, and a storyteller who illuminates his topics and edifies his viewers. Thomas Gaughan
From Kirkus Reviews
Pulitzer Prize winner Remnick (Lenin's Tomb, 1993) turns his recognition to . . . Reggie Jackson? This choice of Remnick's New Yorker items runs the gamut from Reggie to Alger Hiss, from Michael Jordan to theYiddish day-by-day, the ahead. tales, Remnick asserts in his preface, are the center of journalism, and as readers of his prize-winning publication on Russia recognize, he's a really able storyteller. apart from the essays on Alger Hiss and united states Today's Al Neuharth, the items during this assortment are fresh, having been released among 1993 and February 1996. the subjects are different, yet components do unify them. the 1st is Remnick's penchant for telling aspect and for the marginally offbeat edition on a standard interviewer's query. the second one is the best way he balances his passionate dedication to a imaginative and prescient of morality with the must haves of target journalism. At its most sensible, those constants can produce a masterpiece, as in his long exam of the forces that drove Marion Barry's crusade to come back to the mayoralty of Washington, D.C.; one watches, involved, as Remnick involves comprehend or even (a little grudgingly, as you could anticipate) to love the ex-con ex-mayor. At its worst, the result's the book's establishing piece, a portrait of Gary Hart in 1993 that, simply because its significant determine is unforthcoming concerning the most evident subject of curiosity, feels hole on the heart. fortunately, the ebook has many extra examples of the previous than of the latter. Remnick is especially solid on his enthusiasms: a hot tribute to the overdue Joseph Brodsky, and affectionate images of Ralph Ellison and Murray Kempton. he's much less powerful whilst venting his spleen, as in his a little shrill assault at the chilly new activities arenas that opens his profile of Jordan. usually, notwithstanding, this can be a beautifully pleasing collection.
Mr. Remnick is remarkably expert at conveying the special textures of person personalities. -- long island instances, Paul Weissman
From the interior Flap
Readers comprehend from his now vintage Lenin's Tomb that Remnick is an excellent portraitist who can deliver his topics to existence and display them in such striking methods as to justify comparability to Dickens, Balzac, or Proust. during this assortment, Remnick's reward for personality is sharper than ever, even if he writes approximately Gary Hart stumbling via existence after Donna Rice or Mario Cuomo, who now presides over a Saturday morning radio speak express, fielding questions from crackpots, or approximately Michael Jordan's impressive go back to the Chicago Bulls -- or Reggie Jackson's final occasions at bat.
Remnick's photographs of such disparate characters as Alger Hiss and Ralph Ellison, Richard Nixon and Elaine Pagels, Gerry Adams and Marion Barry are unified via this outstanding skill to create a dwelling personality, in order that the items during this booklet, taken jointly, represent a well suited festival of the consultant characters of our time.