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This Living Hand: And Other Essays Hardcover – October 23, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812993128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812993127
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 6.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,012,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Effortless, hasty, tasty, autobiographical, strange, surprising, twisting, graceful, rich, beautiful, haunting, and devastating.”—The Daily Beast
“A sterling collection of essays from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner . . . a splendid assemblage of significant work by one of our keenest observers.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Morris’s prose is precise and engaging; his wit and thoughtfulness make for lively and often moving reading.”Publishers Weekly
“Merrily perverse . . . fascinating . . . His final [essay] turns out to be a near-classic overview of civilization’s long and complex contrapuntal interplay between imagination and fact.”Buffalo News

“A revealing and rewarding glimpse as to how a gifted writer has been able, in his own words, to ‘cut some of his brightest jewels from the raw rubble of experience.’”—The Washington Times
“A masterful exposition of English prose . . . Morris does for words what George Frideric Handel did for musical notes.”—The Roanoke Times

About the Author

Edmund Morris was born and educated in Kenya and went to college in South Africa. He worked as an advertising copywriter in London before immigrating to the United States in 1968. His first book, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1980. Its sequel, Theodore Rex, won the Los Angeles Times Award for Biography in 2002. In between these two books, Morris became President Reagan’s authorized biographer, and published the national bestseller Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan. More recently he has written Beethoven: The Universal Composer and completed his Theodore Roosevelt trilogy with Colonel Roosevelt. Edmund Morris lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut, with his wife and fellow biographer, Sylvia Jukes Morris.

More About the Author

Edmund Morris is one of America's best political biographers and journalists. He is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of biographies of Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. He lives in New York and Washington, DC.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sinohey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In the spirit of full disclosure, I confess that I had developed an aversion to the author after I read his bizarre, mostly fictional so-called biography of Ronald Reagan (Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan/1999). I felt duped by him because I had very much enjoyed his previous book "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt", a serious biography for which Mr. Morris was awarded, a well-deserved, Pulitzer Prize as well as the National Book Award in 1980. The follow-up tome "Theodore Rex" was equally as good.

For this book, the author stitched together 59 of his old essays, published in various magazines and journals over the past four decades. The subjects vary from his childhood in Kenya and South Africa and his return there as a tourist, to his adoration of Beethoven and Theodore Roosevelt, to his tour de force discussion of music technique and ovation to Sir Donald Francis Tovey and Ferrucio Busoni, whom he acclaims as the best pianist to ever exist. There is the usual deference to some famous writers such as Twain, Wendell Holmes et al, while he takes a swipe at James Thurber and Norman Mailer. He also brings to life forgotten poets, writers and musicians.
Personal notes on emigration, apartheid, sojourn in England including a visit to Savile Row tailor where he rehashes that tired old joke "which way does Sir dress"?'
Bill Clinton is not spared in "The Bill and Teddy Show" and "Bill Liar" where members of the Ananias Club (liars club), such as McCarthy and Nixon, debate wether Clinton should be admitted...of course he was.
Morris returns to Ronald Reagan in "A steady Hiss of Corn" about the President's correspondance and concludes with "Leavings of a Life".
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edmund Morris is just a delight--as if Edmund Morris's Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy Bundle: The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Rex, and Colonel Roosevelt were not enough, these essays were a delightful discovery and a genuine pleasure to read. Mr. Morris is a brilliant writer. His essay about his wife is absolutely beautiful, and it led me to read her equally sensitive and thoughtful biography, Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady (Modern Library Paperbacks), and Mr. Morris' description of how that work came into being only adds to its beauty. His essays about the writing of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan were absolutely revelatory and introduced me to several new books. His essay on Beethoven is deeply sensitive, and my reading it on the train on the way to hear Beethoven's Missa Solemnis only heightened my appreciation of that work. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CT Lane on February 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am never disappointed by Edmund Morris. Never! Whether biography or ideas, he is the ultimate language craftsman. Morris has this sixth sense of the human story and can craft language to express it, clearly. His books are my favorite gifts.
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