The Storyteller—Thomas Jefferson’s Political Calculations
December 04, 2012
Jon Meacham has chosen storytelling over analysis, offering up a genial but meandering narrative.
Ironing Out the Wrinkles—The Complexities of Madeleine L’Engle
November 27, 2012
Leonard S. Marcus’s Listening for Madeleine responds directly to Cynthia Zarin’s image-distorting New Yorker profile.
Blue Rooms: The Sad, Slicing Lyrics of Lorenz Hart
November 26, 2012
IN 1962, ALMOST TWENTY years after the lyricist Lorenz Hart’s death, his melodist partner Richard Rodgers told Diahann Carroll that “you can’t imagine how wonderful it feels to have written this score and not have to search all over the globe for that little fag.” Ouch. And yet, as Gary Marmorstein’s thoroughgoing—if occasionally conjectural—biography makes clear, Hart seems to have thought even less of himself than Rodgers did.
Apathy for the Devil—A Bland Bio of Mick Jagger?
November 19, 2012
DID YOU CATCH Mick Jagger on Saturday Night Live’s season finale last spring? It was a bravura performance. Among other roles, he played a sad sack insurance rep at a karaoke bar, a campy queen on a Hollywood quiz show, and a slick-talking J.P. Morgan executive. He was impishly charming in his opening monologue, and when he performed several Stones classics he was as sprightly as ever.