Category: Biography

  • The remarkable story of the second First Lady Adams

    Here’s an outstanding biography of an often-overlooked woman. Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson LOUISA: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams. By Louisa Thomas. Books on Tape. Read by Kirsten Potter. 15 ½ hours; 13 CDs. Also available in hardcover from Penguin Press. Louisa Thomas has applied her skills as a journalist and an author ably […]

  • A man of his times

    Paul O’Connor found more than he expected in a new biography of General Custer. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CUSTER’S TRIALS: A LIFE ON THE FRONTIER OF A NEW AMERICA. By T.J. Stiles. Books on Tape. Read by Arthur Morey. 23 hours, 42 minutes. $95. Also available in hardcover. Knopf. $30. Authors of historical fiction […]

  • A sense of duty, a desire to win

    Amid the sound and fury of the presidential campaign, Paul O’Connor finds that the new biography of George H.W. Bush presents a thought-provoking contrast. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor DESTINY AND POWER: THE AMERICAN ODYSSEY OF GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH.  By Jon Meacham. Penguin Random House Audio. Read by Paul Michael. 25 hours. 20 CDs. […]

  • Money and power

    Thank goodness Tom Dillon has wide-ranging tastes in books. He reads and reviews some fascinating ones we might otherwise overlook. Reviewed by Tom Dillon THE RICHEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED. By Greg Steinmetz. Simon and Schuster. 283 pages. $27.95 hardback. Augsburg in Bavaria, my home for much of the 1960s, is a middling-size German city […]

  • Israel, the U.S. and one man’s journey

    If Paul O’Connor indulges in light books for summer reading, he keeps it a secret. Here he tackles a hefty book on a serious – and timely – subject. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor ALLY: MY JOURNEY ACROSS THE AMERICAN-ISRAELI DIVIDE.  By Michael B. Oren. Books on Tape. $50. 16 hours, 52 minutes. Read by […]

  • Great achievement, great story

    Paul O’Connor takes a look at a new book from a master storyteller about the brothers whose genius transformed the world in 1903. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor THE WRIGHT BROTHERS. By David McCullough. Read by the author. 10 hours, 2 minutes. $17. Also available in hardback from Simon & Schuster. 336 pages. $30. […]

  • The real Reagan

    Paul O’Connor has tackled an exhaustive (and exhausting?)  but worthwhile new biography of Ronald Reagan. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor  REAGAN: THE LIFE. By H.W. Brands. Penguin Random House Audio. Read by Stephen Hoye. 32 hours. $60. Also available in hardcover from Doubleday. 737 pages. $60. My mother really liked Ronald Reagan. She considered him […]

  • A jerk, but a fascinating one

    I’m pretty sure Paul O’Connor listened to this audio book about Steve Jobs on his iPhone. I edited this review on my Macbook. It’s interesting to learn more about a man who had such a major impact on our lives. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor BECOMING STEVE JOBS: THE EVOLUTION OF A RECKLESS UPSTART INTO […]

  • What do bison, prairie dogs, nuclear weapons and cable TV have in common?

    As I’ve said before, it’s a pleasure to receive a review from Tom Dillon, because he writes well, thinks clearly and reads interesting books. He’s also willing to try something different. Reviewed by Tom Dillon LAST STAND: Ted Turner’s Quest to Save a Troubled Planet. By Todd Wilkinson. Lyons Press. 378 pages. $18.95, paperback. Authorized […]

  • Vermont Royster, one of the editorial greats

    Paul O’Connor is nothing if not brave. Here, he dares to review a book written by the senior associate dean with whom both of us work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication. And to think some people question the ability of journalists to be objective. I’m […]