The Book of Isaias: A Child of Hispanic Immigrants Seeks His Own America by Daniel ConnollyIn The Book of Isaias, award-winning journalist Daniel Connolly reports on the experiences of Mexican immigrants while focusing on one high school student, Isaias Ramos. Connolly, who speaks fluent Spanish, spent five years "embedded" in a Memphis, TN high school, observing the students and their families, the high school and its administration, and the special challenges facing undocumented residents. He also discusses legislation and policies that have led to the current official U.S. position on immigration. This "delicate, comprehensive, and empathetic" (Publishers Weekly) account offers a thought-provoking picture of Isaias that some will find eye-opening.
Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe by Robert MatzenActor James Stewart grew up in the ordinary small town of Indiana, PA, where he was fascinated by airplane flight from his childhood. Having already logged many hours in the cockpit as a civilian, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a bomber pilot, flying numerous grueling missions over France and Germany. In Mission, Hollywood historian Robert Matzen chronicles Stewart's military service and his film career. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with some of Stewart's crew members, Matzen provides little-known details of his war experience and the toll it took on him. A perceptive study of Stewart's highly successful Hollywood years completes this absorbing narrative.
Nobody's Son: A Memoir by Mark SloukaThe parents of noted American novelist and essayist Mark Slouka were refugees from Communist Czechoslovakia after World War II; after their settlement in suburban America, their lives became increasingly dysfunctional. In Nobody's Son, Slouka traces his parents' odyssey, which began during World War I, and struggles to understand his mother's mental illness. Slouka's personal story has appeared indirectly in his fiction, but he recounts it directly in this account, manifesting the extent to which his relationship with his mother has influenced his whole life. Though at times the memoir is emotionally devastating, the lives Slouka recalls are "resurrected with amazing clarity," says Library Journal in a starred review.
George Lucas: A Life
by Brian Jay Jones
The best-selling author of Jim Henson: The Biography traces the story of the man behind such blockbuster franchises as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, offering insight into the challenges he overcame and his influential legacy.
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Their Promised Land: My Grandparents in Love and War by Ian BurumaIn this moving family history, acclaimed historian Ian Buruma relates the lives of his maternal grandparents: Jews whose parents had immigrated to London from Germany in the 19th century. Winifred ("Win") and Bernard ("Bun") Schlesinger and their family were thoroughly assimilated into British culture, yet anti-Semitism remained a significant factor in their lives. Letters between Win and Bun, dating from World War I through the 1950s, provided Buruma with the details he needed to craft this gripping and insightful dual portrait, which combines a true love story with biography and social history in the context of two World Wars.
Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir by Joel GreyAward-winning actor Joel Grey is best known for his role on stage and screen as the emcee in Cabaret. In his early years, he found success as a Jewish vaudevillian touring the Borscht Belt, but, because he was homosexual, he avoided playing caricatures of gay men. In Master of Ceremonies, Grey chronicles his full career, his happy 24-year marriage to Jo Wilder, his life in the closet, and the deaths of his first child and of his friend Larry Kert. Finding late-career success in dramatic roles as gay men (The Normal Heart in addition to Cabaret), Grey eventually finds peace with himself in this "honest, memorable, eloquent" (Kirkus Reviews) memoir.
The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe: A Biography by Elaine ShowalterBest known as the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," Julia Ward Howe was an heiress whose husband squandered her money, a passionate abolitionist, and (after her husband's death) an advocate for the rights of women and Native Americans. In this first complete biography of the poet, intellectual, and reformer, we see her strict but comfortable upbringing, her controlling and dismissive husband, and her accomplishments during her widowhood. The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe draws on correspondence, diaries, and her literary works to provide a "robust and enlightening feminist portrait" (Booklist, starred review).
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