New Biographies

Thanks, Obama : my hopey changey White House years

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 04:20
by Litt, David, 1986-
Publisher Ecco, [2017].
First edition
310 pages ; 24 cm
Call Number 973.932 LIT
Summary "A different kind of White House memoir, presidential speechwriter David Litt's comic account of his years spent working with Barack Obama and his reflection on Obama's legacy in the age of Trump. Like many twentysomethings, David Litt frequently embarrassed himself in front of his boss's boss. Unlike many twentysomethings, Litt's boss's boss was President Obama. At age twenty-four, Litt became one of the youngest White House speechwriters in history. Along with remarks on issues like climate change and criminal justice reform, he was the president's go-to writer for comedy. As the lead on the White House Correspondents' Dinner speech (the "State of the Union of jokes"), he was responsible for some of President Obama's most memorable moments, including Keegan-Michael Key's appearance as Luther, Obama's "anger translator." With a humorist's eye for detail and a convert's zeal, Litt takes us inside his eight years on the front lines of Obamaworld. In his political coming-of-age story, he goes from starry-eyed college student--a self-described "Obamabot"--to nervous junior speechwriter to White House senior staff. His behind-the-scenes anecdotes answer questions you never knew you had: What's the classiest White House men's room? What's the social scene like on Air Force One? How do you force the National Security Council to stop hitting reply-all on every e-mail? In between lighthearted observations, Litt uses his experience to address one of today's most important issues: the legacy and future of the Obama movement in the age of Donald Trump"--

Reset : my fight for inclusion and lasting change

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 04:00
by Pao, Ellen K.,
Publisher Spiegel & Grau, [2017]
First edition.
274 pages ; 25 cm
Call Number B PAO
Summary The co-founder of the diversity nonprofit Project Include shares the story behind her landmark 2015 lawsuit against powerhouse venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins, exploring what her case and refusal to settle revealed about Silicon Valley discrimination.


Fri, 09/15/2017 - 04:00
by Bauman, Jeff,
Publisher Grand Central Publishing, 2017. ©2014
Trade Media [movie] tie-in edition.
248 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Call Number B BAUMAN
Summary A survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, who helped to set off one of the biggest manhunts in the country's history, discusses his experiences that day and his ongoing mission to walk again after losing both legs.

Paradise lost : a life of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 15:55
by Brown, David S. (David Scott), 1966-
Publisher The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2017. ©2017
397 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary Pigeonholed in popular memory as a Jazz Age epicurean, a playboy, and an emblem of the Lost Generation, F. Scott Fitzgerald was at heart a moralist struck by the nation's shifting mood and manners after World War I. In Paradise Lost, David Brown contends that Fitzgerald's deepest allegiances were to a fading antebellum world he associated with his father's Chesapeake Bay roots. Yet as a midwesterner, an Irish Catholic, and a perpetually in-debt author, he felt like an outsider in the haute bourgeoisie haunts of Lake Forest, Princeton, and Hollywood--places that left an indelible mark on his worldview. In this comprehensive biography, Brown reexamines Fitzgerald's childhood, first loves, and difficult marriage to Zelda Sayre. He looks at Fitzgerald's friendship with Hemingway, the golden years that culminated with Gatsby, and his increasing alcohol abuse and declining fortunes which coincided with Zelda's institutionalization and the nation's economic collapse. Placing Fitzgerald in the company of Progressive intellectuals such as Charles Beard, Randolph Bourne, and Thorstein Veblen, Brown reveals Fitzgerald as a writer with an encompassing historical imagination not suggested by his reputation as "the chronicler of the Jazz Age." His best novels, stories, and essays take the measure of both the immediate moment and the more distant rhythms of capital accumulation, immigration, and sexual politics that were moving America further away from its Protestant agrarian moorings. Fitzgerald wrote powerfully about change in America, Brown shows, because he saw it as the dominant theme in his own family history and life.--

What happened

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:54
by Clinton, Hillary Rodham,
Publisher Simon & Schuster, 2017.
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition.
xiv, 494 pages ; 24 cm
Call Number 328.73 CLI
Summary The former secretary of state relates her experiences as the first woman candidate nominated for president by a major party, discussing the sexism, criticism, and double standards she had to confront, and how she coped with a devastating loss.

Captain Fantastic : Elton John's stellar trip through the '70s

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 15:44
by Doyle, Tom, 1967-
Publisher Ballantine Books, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
xxiv, 302 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Call Number B JOHN
Summary "Based on rare one-on-one interviews with the flamboyant rock 'n' roll icon, this is the first book to trace Elton John's meteoric rise from obscurity to worldwide celebrity in the wildest, weirdest decade of the twentieth century. In August 1970, Elton John achieved overnight fame with a rousing performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Over the next five years, the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight went from unheard of to unstoppable, scoring seven consecutive #1 albums and sixteen Top Ten singles in America. By the middle of the decade, he was solely responsible for 2 percent of global record sales. One in fifty albums sold in the world bore his name. Elton John's live shows became raucous theatrical extravaganzas, attended by all the glitterati of the era. But beneath the spangled bodysuits and oversized eyeglasses, Elton was a desperately shy man, conflicted about his success, his sexuality, and his narcotic indulgences. In 1975, at the height of his fame, he attempted suicide. After coming out as bisexual in a controversial Rolling Stone interview that nearly wrecked his career, and announcing his retirement from live performance in 1977 at the age of thirty, he gradually found his way back to the thing he cared about most: the music. Captain Fantastic gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at the rise, fall, and return to glory of one of the world's most mercurial performers. Rock journalist Tom Doyle's insider account of the Rocket Man's turbulent ascent is based on a series of one-on-one interviews in which Elton laid bare many previously unrevealed details of his early career. Here is an intimate exploration of Elton's working relationship with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often chronicled the ups and downs of their life together in the spotlight. Through these pages pass a parade of legends whose paths crossed with Elton's during the decade--including John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Groucho Marx, Katharine Hepburn, Princess Margaret, Elvis Presley, and an acid-damaged Brian Wilson. A fascinating portrait of the artist at the apex of his celebrity, Captain Fantastic takes us on a rollicking fame-and-drug-fueled ride aboard Elton John's rocket ship to superstardom."--Jacket.

Otis Redding : an unfinished life

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 15:44
by Gould, Jonathan, 1951-
Publisher Crown Archetype, [2017]
First edition.
viii, 533 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Call Number B REDDING
Summary "Otis Redding remains an immortal presence in the canon of American music on the strength of such classic hits as "(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Try a Little Tenderness," and "Respect," a song he wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it her own. As the architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis, Redding made music that has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul. Yet an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by a plane crash in December 1967. In chronicling the story of Redding's life and music, Gould also presents a social history of the time and place from which they emerged. His book never lets us forget that the boundaries between black and white in popular music were becoming porous during the years when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States. His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a revealing look at a brilliant artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America that resonates strongly with the present day" -- provided by publisher.

Toussaint Louverture : a revolutionary life

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 15:44
by Girard, Philippe R.,
Publisher Basic Books, [2016]
340 pages ; illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Summary "Toussaint Louverture's life was one of hardship, triumph, and contradiction. It began on Saint-Domingue, the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, where he witnessed first-hand the torture of the enslaved population. Yet he managed to earn his freedom and establish himself as a small-scale planter. He even purchased slaves of his own. In Toussaint Louverture, Philippe Girard tells the incredible tale of how Louverture transformed himself from lowly freedman to revolutionary hero. Working as a coachman for his wealthy, white owners, Louverture traveled across Saint-Domingue, building a network among slaves and free blacks that would form the basis of the slave revolt he engineered in 1791. What followed was a decade of unprecedented bloodletting: about 200,000 people in the colony of Saint-Domingue were killed in battle or murdered. By 1801, Louverture was general and governor of the colony, now called Haiti. But his lifelong quest to be accepted as a member of the French colonial elite ended in despair: in 1802, on Napoleon's orders, he was exiled to France, where he spent the last year of his life in a prison cell. Ten years in the making, Toussaint Louverture is based on extensive archival research in France, Britain, Spain, the United States, and the Caribbean. The book contains many revelations about Louverture's life, from a previously unknown first marriage to the circumstances of his manumission, his exact role in the outbreak of the 1791 Haitian slave revolt, his actions as governor of France's richest colony, and the tragic nature of his death"--Provided by publisher.

God's wolf : the life of the most notorious of all crusaders, scourge of Saladin

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:39
by Lee, Jeffrey, 1966-
Publisher W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
First American edition.
332 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), map ; 25 cm
Summary In a 2010 terrorist plot, Al-Qaeda hid a bomb in a FedEx shipment addressed to Reynald de Chatillon, a knight who had died centuries ago in the crusades. A reviled figure in Islamic history, often portrayed as the very epitome of brutality, Reynald remains as controversial--and as vividly present in the minds of many in the Middle East--as the story of the crusades themselves. An epic saga set in the midst of a violent clash of civilizations, God's Wolf tells the story of Reynald's staggering rise from lowly soldier to prince of Antioch, one of the crusader kingdoms in the Near East. Jeffrey Lee argues that, despite his brutality, Reynald was a strong military leader and an effective statesman who defended his kingdom against attacks from Byzantines, Armenians, and Muslims. A tale of faith, fanaticism, and brutality, God's Wolf is the fascinating story of an exceptional crusader and a provocative reinterpretation of the crusader era--

Miss D & me : life with the invincible Bette Davis

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:39
by Sermak, Kathryn,
Publisher Hachette Books, 2017.
First edition.
viii, 278 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Call Number B SERMAK
Summary The legendary actress's personal assistant recounts their time together, discussing the renaissance of Davis's career in her later years and the public betrayal that nearly killed her.

The songs we know best : John Ashbery's early life

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:39
by Roffman, Karin,
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.
First edition.
xv, 316 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Call Number BIOG ASHBERY, J.
Summary "A biography focusing on the poet John Ashbery's early life"--

Unstoppable : my life so far

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:39
by Sharapova, Maria, 1987-
Publisher Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2017] ©2017
292 pages, 8 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

We are all shipwrecks : a memoir

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:39
by Carlisle, Kelly Grey,
Publisher Sourcebooks, [2017]
xi, 304 pages ; 24 cm
Call Number XX(1631231.5)
Summary The author discusses her unusual upbringing living on a boat in the LA harbor with her grandparents who owned and operated adult video stores.

Jefferson : architect of American liberty

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 09:30
by Boles, John B.,
Publisher Basic Books, [2017] ©2017
xi, 626 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary "As Alexander Hamilton's star has risen, Thomas Jefferson's has fallen, largely owing to their divergent views on race. Once seen as the most influential American champion of liberty and democracy, Jefferson is now remembered largely for his relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, and for electing not to free her or most of the other people he owned. In this magisterial biography, the eminent scholar John B. Boles does not ignore the aspects of Jefferson that trouble us today, but strives to see him in full, and to understand him amid the sweeping upheaval of his times. We follow Jefferson from his early success as an abnormally precocious student and lawyer in colonial Virginia through his drafting of the Declaration of Independence at age 33, his travels in Europe on the eve of the French Revolution, his acidic personal battles with Hamilton, his triumphant ascent to the presidency in 1801, his prodigious efforts to found the University of Virginia, and beyond. From Jefferson's inspiring defenses of political and religious liberty to his heterodox abridgment of Christian belief, Boles explores Jefferson's expansive intellectual life, and the profound impact of his ideas on the world. Boles overturns conventional wisdom at every turn, arguing, among other things, that Jefferson did not--as later southerners would--deem the states rightfully superior to the federal government. Yet Boles's view is not limited to politics and public life; we also meet Jefferson the architect, scientist, bibliophile, and gourmet--as well as Jefferson the gentle father and widower, doting on his daughters and longing for escape from the rancorous world of politics. As this authoritative, evenhanded portrait shows, Jefferson challenges us more thoroughly than any other founder; he was at once the most idealistic, contradictory, and quintessentially American of them all." --

Ernest Hemingway : a biography

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:28
by Dearborn, Mary V,
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, 2017.
First edition.
738 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary A full biography of Ernest Hemingway draws on a wide range of previously untapped material and offers particular insight into the private demons that both inspired and tormented him.

JFK : a vision for America in words and pictures

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 15:28
by Smith, Stephen Kennedy,
Publisher Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017] ©2017
First Edition.
493 pages : illustrtions (some color) ; 28 cm
Call Number 973.922 JFK

Gorbachev : his life and times

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 06:28
by Taubman, William,
Publisher W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., [2017]
First edition.
xxv, 852 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

Rising star : the making of Barack Obama

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 09:14
by Garrow, David J., 1953-
Publisher William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, [2017] ©2017
First edition.
viii, 1460 pages : map ; 24 cm
Call Number B OBAMA
Summary "Barack Obama is arguably the most dynamic political figure to grace the American stage since John F. Kennedy. His meteoric rise from promise to power has stunned even the cynics and inspired a legion of devout followers. For anyone who wants to know more about the man, David Mendell's Obama is essential reading. Mendell, who covered Obama for the Chicago Tribune, had far-reaching access to the Chicago politician as Obama climbed the ladder to the White House, the details of which he shares in this compelling biography. Positioning Obama as the savior of a fumbling Democratic party, Mendell reveals how Obama conquered Illinois politics and paved the way brick by brick for a galvanizing, historic presidential run" -- Provided by the publisher.

Afterglow : a dog memoir

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:13
by Myles, Eileen,
Publisher Grove Press, 2017.
First edition.
210 pages 22 cm
Call Number B MYLES

Did it! : from yippie to yuppie: Jerry Rubin, an American revolutionary

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:13
by Thomas, Patrick O., 1964-
Publisher Fantagraphics Books, 2017. ©2017
First edition.
xi, 253 pages : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 31 cm
Call Number B RUBIN