By David Remnick
Readers understand from his now vintage Lenin's Tomb that Remnick is a wonderful portraitist who can carry his matters to existence and show them in such mind-blowing 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 existence after Donna Rice or Mario Cuomo, who now presides over a Saturday morning radio speak exhibit, 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 images 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 striking skill to create a dwelling personality, in order that the items during this booklet, taken jointly, represent a best competition of the consultant characters of our time.
David Remnick's past ebook, Lenin's Tomb, used to be a razor-sharp portrayal of either the rulers and the governed within the final 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 trying to find the very foundation of the satan (Elaine Pagels). specially devastating is a profile of radio speak convey host Mario Cuomo, who in actual fact most popular lifestyles as Governor of latest York. those items formerly seemed in Esquire, the Washington put up, and the recent Yorker.
From Publishers Weekly
A outstanding portrait gallery of rogues, heroes, politicos and artistic innovators, this choice of essays, the majority of which first seemed within the New Yorker, opens with an ironic examine Gary Hart's exile from public existence 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 preferrred court docket seat. within the identify 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 breathing disease?led her to discover early Christianity, the satan and evil. Hollywood clashes with academia within the sour fallout of ex-Columbia photos president Steve Sohmer and his protegee, Shakespearean student Mary Ann McGrail, whom he accused of stealing his idea 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 inside track company for the hot Yorker. The items are real, yet a lot of them additionally learn very like an outstanding brief story. The identify 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 foundation of devil (LJ 6/1/95). Remnick's tender, readable sort and transparent perception make for fascinating studying. advised for renowned 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 start with humans, a disparate staff that incorporates Gary Hart, Michael Jordan, Joseph Brodsky, Ralph Ellison, Mario Cuomo, and Alger Hiss, and so they 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 remark on Brodsky's poetry as on Jordan's post-up circulation. There are tales inside tales, besides, as while Gary Hart describes a unusual dialog with Richard Nixon in the course of the funeral of Senator Jacob Javits. Nixon informed him that Bach used to be larger than Brahms, simply because Bach is "tougher" than Brahms. Remnick is a talented observer, a swish and evocative author, and a storyteller who illuminates his matters and edifies his viewers. Thomas Gaughan
From Kirkus Reviews
Pulitzer Prize winner Remnick (Lenin's Tomb, 1993) turns his awareness to . . . Reggie Jackson? This number 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 guts of journalism, and as readers of his prize-winning publication on Russia comprehend, he's a really able storyteller. except for 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 diversified, yet components do unify them. the 1st is Remnick's penchant for telling element and for the marginally offbeat version on a regular interviewer's query. the second one is the best way he balances his passionate dedication to a imaginative and prescient of morality with the prerequisites 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, interested, as Remnick involves comprehend or even (a little grudgingly, as it's possible you'll count on) to love the ex-con ex-mayor. At its worst, the result's the book's commencing piece, a portrait of Gary Hart in 1993 that, simply because its important determine is unforthcoming concerning the most blatant subject of curiosity, feels hole on the middle. fortunately, the publication has many extra examples of the previous than of the latter. Remnick is especially strong on his enthusiasms: a hot tribute to the overdue Joseph Brodsky, and affectionate pictures 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, although, this can be a beautifully exciting collection.
Mr. Remnick is remarkably expert at conveying the specified textures of person personalities. -- big apple occasions, Paul Weissman
From the interior Flap
Readers understand from his now vintage Lenin's Tomb that Remnick is a wonderful portraitist who can convey his topics to existence and show them in such superb 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 impressive go back to the Chicago Bulls -- or Reggie Jackson's final instances at bat.
Remnick's pictures of such disparate characters as Alger Hiss and Ralph Ellison, Richard Nixon and Elaine Pagels, Gerry Adams and Marion Barry are unified via this amazing skill to create a residing personality, in order that the items during this e-book, taken jointly, represent a most excellent competition of the consultant characters of our time.