From Library Journal
Kempton, a columnist for New York Newsday and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, commemorates his long career in journalism with this collection of essays, reviews, and columns. A Pulitzer Prize winner with over 40 years of writing experience, he has focused his attention on public personalities and events. Maintaining a strong personal vision of justice, he examines the lives and actions of the famous and the obscure. From a celebration of the "journey" of Thurgood Marshall to his lament over the denial of an Arlington cemetery burial to war hero and Communist activist Robert George Thompson, Kempton applies the same standards to all his subjects. This collection assumes a sophisticated reader with a wide knowledge of the culture and politics of the late 20th century, and some individual pieces suffer from the loss of the context of the times in which they were written. Recommended especially for journalism collections.
Judy Solberg, Univ. of Maryland Libs., College Park
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A columnist, at one time the editor of the New Republic, and always a frequent contributor to publications such as the New York Review of Books and Esquire, Kempton has earned both a National Book Award (1973) and a Pulitzer Prize for commentary (1985). This "best of" collection offers a compendium of Kempton's probing, insightful reportage, reviews, and essays on politics and culture, movements and melodrama, and Americans famous and infamous. From FDR and Bessie Smith to Michael Milken and Ollie North, with stops along the way in Vietnam, at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Kempton has always been a New York writer whose curiosity embraces the world. Readers who value really perceptive journalism will appreciate this reminder of just how good Kempton was--and is. Mary Carroll
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