by Julian Jackson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 22, 2023
A highly insightful work of French history.
A captivating account of the 1945 trial of the French marshal who had agreed to an armistice with the Nazi regime in 1940.
Jackson, a professor emeritus of history and author of the prizewinning De Gaulle, reminds readers that Philippe Pétain (1856-1951) “was unanimously viewed as a savior when he took over as head of the so-called Vichy regime”—although opinion was far more divided by the end of the war. The trial was obviously a political event with a guilty verdict almost guaranteed, but it was not a charade. Pétain’s lawyers mounted a vigorous defense, and the trial that obsessed the nation was compared to those of Louis XVI and even Joan of Arc. Jackson begins with the events following August 1944 when, with Allied armies sweeping across France, the Nazis forcibly evacuated Pétain and many loyal followers to a castle in Germany, where they occupied themselves with fantasies about returning after Hitler recovered from this temporary setback. Leaving in April 1945, Pétain returned to France, where preparations for his trial in absentia were already in progress. Few French officials, de Gaulle included, welcomed his arrival. Readers will be intrigued by Jackson’s lucid explanations of the unfamiliar French legal system in which both judge and jury can quiz witnesses. He was tried for treason, and the author delivers a dense, informative account that confronts broad moral and philosophical questions, enlivened by the witnesses’ often bitter hatred of Pétain and each other. Convicted, he was sentenced to death, which de Gaulle commuted to life imprisonment, “as the court had recommended and as he had always privately intended.” Readers will not be surprised to learn that this was a controversial decision, and they will thoroughly enjoy Jackson’s final 100 pages, which recount the persistent, often grotesque efforts to rehabilitate Pétain and Vichy that continue to this day.A highly insightful work of French history.
Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023
Page Count: 480
Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.
Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.
Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.
Pub Date: July 12, 2022
Page Count: 192
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022
Share your opinion of this book
by Pamela Anderson ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 31, 2023
A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.
The iconic model tells the story of her eventful life.
According to the acknowledgments, this memoir started as "a fifty-page poem and then grew into hundreds of pages of…more poetry." Readers will be glad that Anderson eventually turned to writing prose, since the well-told anecdotes and memorable character sketches are what make it a page-turner. The poetry (more accurately described as italicized notes-to-self with line breaks) remains strewn liberally through the pages, often summarizing the takeaway or the emotional impact of the events described: "I was / and still am / an exceptionally / easy target. / And, / I'm proud of that." This way of expressing herself is part of who she is, formed partly by her passion for Anaïs Nin and other writers; she is a serious maven of literature and the arts. The narrative gets off to a good start with Anderson’s nostalgic memories of her childhood in coastal Vancouver, raised by very young, very wild, and not very competent parents. Here and throughout the book, the author displays a remarkable lack of anger. She has faced abuse and mistreatment of many kinds over the decades, but she touches on the most appalling passages lightly—though not so lightly you don't feel the torment of the media attention on the events leading up to her divorce from Tommy Lee. Her trip to the pages of Playboy, which involved an escape from a violent fiance and sneaking across the border, is one of many jaw-dropping stories. In one interesting passage, Julian Assange's mother counsels Anderson to desexualize her image in order to be taken more seriously as an activist. She decided that “it was too late to turn back now”—that sexy is an inalienable part of who she is. Throughout her account of this kooky, messed-up, enviable, and often thrilling life, her humility (her sons "are true miracles, considering the gene pool") never fails her.A juicy story with some truly crazy moments, yet Anderson's good heart shines through.
Pub Date: Jan. 31, 2023
Page Count: 256
Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
SEEN & HEARD
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!