| Nov 18, 2011
| 3:30 PM
It's dangerous to begin a biography with what amounts to an advertisement for oneself. "Someone else could cobble together a so-so version of your life just by mining what's stored in library boxes and electronic files," Charles J. Shields writes in the...
| Jul 12, 2012
| 3:26 PM
Walter Cronkite was not inclined to introspection, and historian Douglas Brinkley emulates his subject in this thorough biography of the news broadcaster who in 1972 was declared "The Most Trusted Man in America."
Brinkley's lengthy narrative spends as...
| Dec 2, 2011
| 9:54 AM
Vincent Van Gogh is an extraordinary artist about whom everything seems to be known. His brilliant work and tragic life, combined with a paper trail of letters to his art-dealer brother, Theo, have made him an irresistible subject for art historians,...
| Dec 11, 2011
Simon Sebag Montefiore's epic survey of Jerusalem's sanguinary history does not inspire confidence in the civilizing qualities of religion. The pile of corpses accumulated over millenniums from the persecutions both perpetrated and endured by all three of...
| Nov 27, 2011
She rejected the title by which posterity knows her, preferring always to conceal her steely ambition and regal pride under a mask of modesty and service. Yet "Catherine the Great" was indeed an apt sobriquet for the subject of Robert K. Massie's latest...
| Aug 1, 2012
| 11:57 PM
Twenty years ago, Bob Spitz spent several weeks touring Sicily in the company of Julia Child.
"We ate and drank and talked. We talked about her entire life," recalled the writer of "Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child." "I had her voice in my...
| Dec 2, 2010
Film both mimics our dreams and provokes our fantasies. The idea that an individual's relationship with it might be a narcotic, a heady mood or attitude, an atmosphere that changes speed and temperature but can never be escaped is central to David...
| Dec 10, 2010
| 2:30 PM
"I am submitting the enclosed short story 'LIFE-LINE' for either 'Astounding' or 'Unknown,'" Robert A. Heinlein wrote to editor John Campbell in 1939, "because I am not sure which policy it fits the better."
The former magazine published science fiction,...
| Mar 23, 2011
| 8:15 AM
It was a simple white slip – an everyday undergarment for women in the 1960s. But in "Butterfield 8," one of Elizabeth Taylor's most memorable films, the violet-eyed actress – playing the tragic, fiery Gloria Wandrous -- made the staple seem...
| Jul 29, 2012
Since her death on Aug. 5, 1962, hundreds of books about Marilyn Monroe have been published by various writers, ranging from famous names such as Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem and Joyce Carol Oates, to people who worked with her on movie sets. With so...
| Jul 29, 2012
Marilyn Monroe certainly achieved fame in the course of her 36-year lifetime, but in the five decades since her death, she's become such a celebrity-branding superstar, it often feels as if America's proto-platinum pinup never really left the building...