In the predawn hours of Jan. 2, 1972, eight armed thieves dressed in tuxedos and transported by limousine invaded the Pierre Hotel in New City.
Alexsi is a creation of and for the world of Joseph Stalin at its most terrifying. A practiced thief at 16 years old, he is captured by the communist NKVD, the law enforcement agency of the Soviet Union, and becomes a secret agent who is also a trained killer.
When we think of Ronald Reagan, it usually involves either his two successful terms in the Governor’s Mansion of California or the White House. What we rarely consider is the period when this great modern conservative figure was trapped in the political wilderness — with a future that was far from certain.
Good biography should not just bring the subject individual into clearer focus, it also should inform us about how that life has something to tell us about current events. This meticulously annotated selection from the diaries of our sixth president reads like the banner headlines of today’s news reports of political intrigue, raw ambitions and the same existential crisis that divides our nation today.
When it comes to evacuating the White House, Jane Hampton Cook is something of an expert — having experienced its second evacuation firsthand during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and having written a book about its first evacuation 187 years earlier.
Many books fail to live up to their titles. Only occasionally does the title fail to live up to the book. A current example is Oxford and Cambridge scholar John Stubbs’ massive, magisterial “life and times” biography of Jonathan Swift (1667-1745).
Jim Harrison and red wine started going together when he was a teenager and they never broke up. The 79-year-old poet, essayist, screenwriter, and novel- and novella-writing man of letters was a lifelong drinker of red wine, the quality of which was directly related to his current income.