Memoirs and Biographies
Hume
An Intellectual Biography
By James A. Harris
Review by Gregory F.W. Todd, J.D., MSc on Tue, Aug 27th 2019.
Hume by James A. HarrisJames Harris's impressive Hume: An Intellectual Biography was published in hardback in late 2015.  As of January 2019, it has been issued as well in paperback, making the work easily affordable to any reader with a serious interest in Hume.  Harris is Professor in the History of Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, with a long association not only with Hume's epistemology and ethics (as taught today, his "philosophy"), but also Hume's six-volume History of England, for which Hume was best known during his lifetime, and his extensive writings on economi
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All That You Leave Behind
A Memoir
By Erin Lee Carr
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Aug 13th 2019.
The Amazon review by ERB sums up most of my reactions to Erin Lee Carr's memoir. She is now in her early 30s, and is a successful documentary maker for HBO and other media companies. Her book is a love letter to her father David Carr, author of his addiction memoir Night of the Gun and media correspondent for the New York Times. David Carr, a serious smoker, died of lung cancer at the age of 58.  Going back to my own review of David Carr's memoir, I had forgotten how much I disliked the book for his writing style and his lack of insight into his own problems.
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All That You Leave Behind by Erin Lee Carr

The Quiet Room
A Journey out of the Torment of Madness
By Lori Schiller
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 25th 2019.
The Quiet Room by Lori SchillerI first read The Quiet Room soon after it was published in 1994, now 25 years ago. It has been released as an audiobook in 2018, performed by Brittany Pressley, Gregory Abbey and Cheryl Smith. Listening to it now, it is notably a product of its time and place, and being more familiar with both the places it talks about and the problems it discusses, I found it a curious experience to go through the story again. Schiller is from a wealthy family who when she was a child moved to the exclusive suburb in Scarsdale in Westchester, New York an easy commute to Manhattan. She went to
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Never Enough
The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction
By Judith Grisel
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 18th 2019.
Judy Grisel is a researcher in neuroscience at Fuhrman University, South Carolina. Her specialty is in addiction. She also tells her own story of her relationship with drugs, which she used heavily in her youth and then completely stopped using. She tells us a little about her family but not a lot. She gives some comments on her experiences with different drugs but does not say much about how she came to take them or what happened to her when she did. So this is a long way from being a memoir, and Grisel tends to be terse about most of her topics. Never Enough is a fairly short book and m
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Never Enough by Judith Grisel

You All Grow Up and Leave Me
A Memoir of Teenage Obsession
By Piper Weiss
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 28th 2019.
You All Grow Up and Leave Me by Piper WeissPiper Weiss grew up in Manhattan in the 1980s and '90s. She played tennis and had her own tennis coach, Gary Wilensky. She grew up to be a journalist still lives in NYC. She says in her epilogue that at 38 she is single and without children, and she says that is not her choice. There's a speculation there about whether her experience with Wilensky had a lasting effect on her life. Her book, You All Grow Up and Leave Me, is as much about Weiss's experience as a privileged young woman in a wealthy city at a particular time, as it is a crime story about Wilensky. She recounts her c
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Serving the Servant
Remembering Kurt Cobain
By Danny Goldberg
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 2nd 2019.
Danny Goldberg is a big name in the music business. He knew Kurt Cobain in a professional context and they became friends. He advised Kurt and Courtney Love as they became rich, and he tried to help Kurt stop taking heroin. In Serving the Servant, he recounts his experience with Kurt and his thoughts about Kurt's life. Goldberg was in his 40s while Kurt was in his 20s. It's very much a memoir rather than a biography, and but Kurt died young, so Goldberg knew him for all of the time that he was on a major label. He depicts Kurt as a smart, kind and sensitive artist who was very savvy
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Serving the Servant by Danny Goldberg

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed
By Lori Gottlieb
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 2nd 2019.
Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori GottliebTherapist Lori Gottlieb's memoir of the personal crisis she faced that led her to go back into therapy is a gripping read. She recounts both her own experience as a therapist with some striking patients, and her finding a new therapist for herself after her boyfriend broke off their engagement. The chapters are pretty short and the writing is vivid. Gottlieb questions her own methods and assumptions, and examines the constraints of the role of therapists, and comes to grow through both her patients and her own psychotherapy practice. Gottlieb previously published a memoir of her own anorexia,
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I Am Dynamite!
A Life of Nietzsche
By Sue Prideaux
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Feb 12th 2019.
Having struggled mightily to make sense of Nietzsche's moral philosophy and assess whether his work is worth studying, I found Sue Prideaux's biography of the man a revelation. Putting his ideas in the context of his life, showing the development of his ideas and how they were reactions to his life circumstances, Prideaux makes sense of Nietzsche. It is also very helpful to know what most of his works were written in a great rush, between his illnesses, while he was able to focus, battling the severe problems with his eyesight. This explains why so much of his work looks like a stream of wild
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I Am Dynamite! by Sue Prideaux

 
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