Log In

Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $19.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time.

Thanks a Lot, Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story

Roger Daltrey. Holt, $30 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-29603-0

The lead singer for The Who looks back on frenzied tours, drug binges, band feuds and devastated hotel rooms in this raucous rock memoir. Recalling the titular school principal who told him he would never amount to anything, Daltrey recounts his rise from working-class London striver to superstar in the group that pioneered arena-rock staples such as apocalyptic sound systems, laser light shows, and guitar-smashing stage antics. Daltrey paints himself as the straight man in The Who's volatile group dynamics, tagging other bandmates with the heavy drug use and property destruction—drummer Keith Moon, who drove a car into a swimming pool, blew up plumbing, lapsed into narcotic comas on stage, and died of an overdose, takes pride of place—and toxic rivalries. There is affection and resentment in his portrait of Who songwriter Pete Townshend, who comes off as a brilliant but arrogant and cutting man whose abstruse concept albums lacked grounding in showbiz reality. Daltrey's musings are sometimes self-serving ("[s]exual infidelity should never be a reason for divorce"), but they are full of vivid imagery ("[t]all and skinny, [Townshend] looked like a nose on a stick") and piquant humor ("[A]s the butterflies flew upward, they would all empty their bowels," he reports from the set of Tommy). The result is an entertaining rock ‘n' roll picaresque. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 10/26/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Yes, No, and Maybe: Living with the God of Immeasurably More

Wendy Pope. David C. Cook, $16.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-7814-1356-5

Pope (Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow), a writer for Proverbs 31 ministries, lays out her course for a joy-filled life in this realistic, relatable book. Looking to address problems in her marriage, Pope opened up to her husband about her unhappiness with his long working hours, and he responded with something that changed her life: “You don’t make our house a place I want to come home to.” After that dismal assessment, Pope decided she needed to revisit her spiritual disciplines to understand how her family life had reached such a state of disarray. She lists three steps that helped her overcome those difficulties: cultivating trust, inviting revelation, and welcoming freedom. Through anecdotes and passages from scripture, Pope illustrates how happily abandoning oneself to God can help with overcoming disappointments and hardships. In the most memorable chapter, Pope outlines the struggles the apostle Paul confronted as he spread the gospel of Christ, explaining that his example of perseverance is one all Christians should follow. Pope concludes each chapter with an “Ask and Imagine” section for further study. Christian readers looking for spiritual fortitude in their personal lives will appreciate Pope’s inspirational, practical text. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
On the Line: A History of the British Columbia Labour Movement

Rod Mickleburgh. Harbour, $44.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-55017-826-5

Journalist Mickleburgh (The Art of the Impossible: Dave Barrett and the NDP in Power, 1972–1975) brings to life British Columbia’s long, rough-and-tumble history of labor disputes with a beautifully illustrated chronology detailing the sacrifices and picket line struggles of a broad range of workers. Colorful characters—such as working-class agitator and longtime legislator Tom Uphill (who promoted beer as a worker’s right), indomitable workplace compensation advocate Bea Zucco, and pioneering feminist carpenter Kate Braid—are profiled alongside tales of high drama. Stories of strikes, from the 1918 Vancouver general strike and the 1940s dockyard brinkmanship of the Canadian Seaman’s Union to the provincial teachers’ illegal 2005 walkout, showcase the various tactical decisions, the white-knuckle negotiations, and the losses of life and liberty that defended jobs in perilous times. Mickleburgh pays particular attention to the oft-neglected roles of women, indigenous people, and immigrant laborers. Although he writes from a pro-labor perspective, he pulls no punches in detailing unsavory parts of the movement’s history, including racism and the Cold War–era purging of progressive union members. Bolstered by a crisp and accessible style, this history will appeal to union partisans and anyone who enjoys a good history filled with fascinating anecdotes and memorable characters. Photos. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Everything’s Trash, but It’s Okay

Phoebe Robinson. Plume, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-53414-3

Comedian Robinson (You Can’t Touch My Hair) spins stories that are laugh-out-loud funny yet carry an unmistakable undertone of seriousness regarding sexism and race relations. As a woman of color in stand-up comedy—often the arena of white men—Robinson has faced harassment (including fellow comedians catcalling her on and off the stage), and her anger fuels bold proclamations that should inspire women to push back against sexism and discrimination (“Women have to stop apologizing for things they don’t need to apologize for”). She is especially on point when discussing the highs and lows of race relations, believing that America had changed for the better in 2008 (“It felt like a new era, and anything was possible because there was proof of it every day in the Oval Office”) and then for the worse in 2016 (“We have a president... who behaves as though all African-Americans live in the inner city”). The author also touches on lighter topics as well, such as Oprah’s endorsement of Robinson’s first book (“Queen O continued with her message, and it was beyond lovely”), the difficulties of modern dating, and even the importance of good skin care. Robinson’s side-splitting memoir will both entertain and empower her readers. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Pitino: My Story

Rick Pitino, with Seth Kaufman. Diversion, $24.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-63576-562-5

Pitino, the former head basketball coach for the University of Louisville, reflects on his coaching career up to his being fired in 2017 amid accusations of illegal recruiting in this candid, fast-paced memoir. He hits the highlights of his jobs at Syracuse University, Boston University, the New York Knicks, the Boston Celtics, and finally Louisville in 2001. Tension builds when Pitino discusses the end of his Louisville career. In 2016, a scandal developed when one of his coaches, Andre McGee, paid for strippers and prostitutes to entertain the teammates and other recruits. In May 2017, the NCAA stripped Louisville of its 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship title; just a few months later, Pitino was fired from Louisville. Pitino offers a clear account of how the investigation unraveled, though the narrative is dotted with flashes of anger and frustration (“The DOJ did not give a damn about protecting my identity” throughout the investigation, he writes). Toward the end, Pitino writes, “Why would someone who has coached in seven Final Fours suddenly have to cheat?”; from there he lays out a convincing case for his innocence. Pitino’s memoir is strongly argued and insightful. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century

Mark Lamster. Little, Brown, $35 (528p) ISBN 978-0-316-12643-4

Architecture critic Lamster (Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of Painter Peter Paul Rubens) outlines the complicated and contradictory life of architect Philip Johnson in this engrossing, exhaustively researched account of a brilliant opportunist who introduced modernism to America. Johnson (1906–2005) came from a well-to-do Cleveland family and graduated from Harvard Graduate School of Design, traveled to Germany in the 1930s (where he was in awe of Adolf Hitler and developed “a continued fascination with the dictator’s Nazi party”), and founded MOMA’s architectural department before becoming one of the architectural world’s most skilled and controversial members. A theoretician as much as practitioner, Johnson continuously pushed boundaries, designing the Glass House in Connecticut in 1949, New York City’s Seagram Building in 1958, and the Johnson Building at Boston Public Library in 1972. Lamster employs thoughtful analysis (“Because he was restless and his mind was nimble, he could not resist the narcotic draw of the new, and the opportunities for self-aggrandizement the new presented”) to demonstrate Johnson’s desire to make his mark. This is an entertaining and in-depth look at one of architecture’s most complex and influential characters. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Co. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.

Jeff Tweedy. Dutton, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-1-101-98526-7

Alt-rock star Tweedy tells of his musical ascent in this sincere, affable memoir. Growing up in a small crumbling downstate Illinois town “where everybody knows who’s cheating on who, and who’s been out of work,” Tweedy discovered music by following 1980s underground pioneers such as the Minutemen (“Punk rock was an exotic event happening somewhere else in the world”), haunting record stores, and finding like-minded neighbors such as future Uncle Tupelo bandmate Jay Farrar. Uncle Tupelo formed in 1987, but after seven years, Tweedy and the alt-country band split ways in, as Tweedy describes it, a passive-aggressively acrimonious way. Tweedy started Wilco in 1994 and eventually released 10 records, including Mermaid Avenue, a collection of Woody Guthrie songs that the band recorded with Billy Bragg. Throughout, Tweedy writes about his wife, Susie Miller (a Chicago club booker when they met), and touches on his struggle with anxiety and his addiction to Vicodin (it allowed him to write “and not fall into a heap on the floor in a fit of weeping and panic”). Tweedy will delight fans by sharing such tidbits as his favorite moment in the Wilco documentary and how a Noah’s Ark analogy powered the Grammy-winning A Ghost Is Born album. Tweedy tells a wonderfully unassuming story of a music-filled life. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Becoming Lincoln

William W. Freehling. Univ. of Virginia, $29.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-8139-4156-1

Awkward prose overwhelms whatever new insights Freehling (The Road to Disunion), humanities professor emeritus at the University of Kentucky, seeks to share in this Lincoln biography. He focuses on Lincoln’s life before he assumed the presidency, reviewing his failures in detail rather than concentrating on his better-known successes. He starts with Lincoln’s “dismal youth” and follows the vicissitudes of his political career, which included several electoral defeats and multiple unsuccessful terms as a state legislator. But this period of Lincoln’s life is well-trodden ground, reexamined recently in books such as Sidney Blumenthal’s multivolume The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln and David Herbert Donald’s Lincoln. Rather than charting new paths, Freehling fills the text with diversions, giving his subjects awkward epithets (“the internal improvement apostle”) or explaining why it is easier to wield an axe blade attached to a handle, and burying in a footnote a more substantive critique of Donald’s portrayal of Lincoln as passive and fatalistic. The prose too often gets in its own way. (“The giant, no longer appearing to be all legs, now looked closer to all head, largely self-trained to tower.”) This biography fails to justify its existence. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age

Donna Zuckerberg. Harvard Univ, $27.95 (262p) ISBN 978-0-674-97555-2

Classicist Zuckerberg, the editor-in-chief of Eidolon, aims to take back the writings of the ancients from misogynist online communities where men claiming to be the “defenders of the cultural legacy of Western Civilization... weaponize Greece and Rome in the service of their agenda.” Hoping to promote broader understanding of the classics, Zuckerberg analyzes the subdivisions of the online “manosphere” or “red pill” community, identifying three main factions—men’s rights activists (MRAs), members of the pick-up artist community (PUAs), and “men going their own way” (MGTOW)—and looking at their claims that classical texts affirm a long, idealized tradition for their “reactionary gender politics.” For example, she writes, some assert that Ovid’s Ars Amatoria is a straightforward model for PUA techniques, and some MGTOW look to Stoic philosophy to justify a belief that women are unreliable because they are supposedly more emotional than men. Contradicting these readings, she gives nuanced context about the texts in their own times. Ultimately, though Zuckerberg’s profile of the red pill community is uncomplimentary and potentially alarmist, her detailed analysis and reasoned tone inadvertently give some credence to the red pillers’ textual analyses, being thoughtful and balanced (including in an admission that “Misogyny appears early in Greek literature”) where her opponents are facile and extreme. This work may be of more interest to those concerned about the manosphere than those seeking feminist readings of classical texts. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America

Seth Abramson. Simon and Schuster, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-9821-1608-8

President Trump and his underlings “conspired with a hostile foreign power to sell... control over America’s foreign policy in exchange for financial reward and covert election assistance,” argues this scattershot investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal. Drawing mainly on press accounts, CNN legal analyst Abramson (Northerners) constructs a detailed, labyrinthine chronicle of contacts between Trump and his associates on the one hand and Russian officials, oligarchs, and fixers on the other. From this tangle of interactions, Abramson constructs a “theory of the case,” inferring that Trump et al. offered to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia and pursue pro-Russian policies in exchange for the Russian government’s permitting a Moscow real-estate deal, helping Trump’s campaign with hacking and propaganda, or just bribing him. Contrary to the certainty or actionability implied by the book’s title, Abramson’s repetitive, eye-glazing narrative produces clouds of suspicious dots to connect, but these only occasionally rise to the level of criminal allegations. He reasonably suggests that Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey may constitute obstruction of justice; more dubiously, he asserts that Trump’s campaign-trail gibe of “Russia... I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Clinton] emails” was an illegal solicitation of a campaign contribution. Abramson’s exhaustive amassing of published evidence is useful, if hard to wade through, but there’s no smoking gun to clinch his claim of having proved anything. (Nov.)

Reviewed on 10/19/2018 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.