Byman, Jeremy 1944–
Byman, Jeremy 1944–
Born February 26, 1944, in Chicago, IL; son of Leonard (in sales) and Eleanor (a librarian) Byman; married Aline Sydney Faben, December 29, 1968 (divorced, September 12, 1977); married Elizabeth Lynn Hamilton (a college instructor), May 22, 1993. Education: Carleton College, B.A., 1965; University of Chicago, M.A., Ph.D., 1975; New York University, M.A. (cinema studies), 1982.
Home—Greensboro, NC. E-mail—[email protected]
State University of New York College at Buffalo, Buffalo, assistant professor of political science, 1972-74; Illinois State University, Normal, assistant professor of political science, 1974-76; University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, assistant professor of political science, 1976-1984; freelance writer, 1984—. Guilford Technical Community College, Jamestown, NC, instructor, 1988-1997.
FOR YOUNG ADULTS
Madam Secretary: The Story of Madeleine Albright, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 1998, revised edition, 2004.
Ted Turner: Cable Television Tycoon, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 1998.
Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 1999.
Tim Duncan, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2000.
J.P. Morgan: Banker to a Growing Nation, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2001.
Carl Sagan: In Contact with the Cosmos, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2001.
Showdown at High Noon: Witch-hunts, Critics, and the End of the Western, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2004.
Film reviewer for Triad Style, 1984—. Contributor to local, regional, and national periodicals.
Jeremy Byman began his career as a writer for young adults with a biography of the first female secretary of state in U.S. history. In Madam Secretary: The Story of Madeleine Albright, Byman recounts Albright's life story, from her parents' escape from Czechoslovakia during World War II to her years as a student at a private girls' school and at Wellesley College. After Wellesley, Albright married and began graduate school in political science. With her Ph.D. in hand, Albright joined the staff of U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie, who was a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This work put Albright into a position where she eventually was chosen to represent the United States at the United Nations, and later to be secretary of state under President Clinton. The result is "a candid look at a woman who used her intelligence and political savvy to become one of the most influential players in what has been traditionally a game played only by men," commented Maura Bresnahan in Voice of Youth Advocates. Although Hazel Rochman, writing in Booklist, cared less for Byman's detailed recounting of Albright's political maneuverings, Rochman, like Bresnahan, observed that "students will be interested in her breakthroughs as a woman."
Ted Turner: Cable Television Tycoon is the biography of a man who turned his father's billboard business into a huge media conglomerate including television and radio stations, a baseball team, and the Cable News Network, which Turner created in 1980. Another remarkable business entrepreneur was the subject of Byman's next biography: Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation. This work alternates chapters on Grove's life story with those on the life of the company he created, Intel, which is credited with pioneering work in microprocessors that paved the way for the home computer revolution. Like Albright, Byman's earlier subject, Grove began his life as a Jewish refugee from World War II, and he went on to a successful college career that set him up for later success in business. Byman's focus on Intel over the course of thirty years "will interest computer enthusiasts and should prove an excellent resource for business students," predicted Roger Leslie in Booklist.
Tim Duncan, a rising star in the National Basketball Association (NBA), is the subject of another Byman biography. Here, the author focuses on Duncan's achievements in college, when every year his athletic abilities brought the suspicion that he would drop out of college to play professionally, and every year he decided to remain in school until he finished his degree. In 1998, Duncan was named NBA Rookie of the Year, and his team won the championship the following year.
Byman is also the author of Carl Sagan: In Contact with the Cosmos, a biography of one of the most famous scientists of the late twentieth century. Booklist reviewer Carolyn Phelan cited the author for offering "a balanced picture of Sagan's sometimes controversial life and ideas," which included a sincere belief in the search for life outside our solar system. Byman also wrote J.P. Morgan: Banker to a Growing Nation, in which he makes clear why Morgan was both beloved and reviled during his lifetime, according to Marilyn Heath in School Library Journal.
Byman once commented: "I backed into a writing career. I had been a college teacher for many years, and thought I would do that until I retired. But I discovered that I was more interested in writing for general audiences than for scholarly ones, and started writing movie reviews and articles for local magazines, as well as advertising copy. Quite by accident, I met a publisher of books for young adults, and he invited me to write a biography of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. I did, and though I didn't know it at the time, I was off and running. I've since written several more biographies for middle and high school students, and I have published my first book for adults (not counting an unpublished doctoral dissertation). It's about the classic western High Noon—how it came to be made, how it changed the course of both films and filmmaking, and how it came to be at the center of an ongoing argument about the proper way to make movies. I expect I'll continue to do a bit of everything in the future—adult books, young adult, and magazines."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 1997, Hazel Rochman, review of Madam Secretary: The Story of Madeleine Albright, p. 688; April, 1998, Anne O'Malley, review of Ted Turner: Cable Television Tycoon, p. 1309; March 15, 1999, Roger Leslie, review of Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation, p. 1322; June 1, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of Tim Duncan, p. 1883; November 1, 2000, Carolyn Phelan review of Carl Sagan: In Contact with the Cosmos, p. 528.
Horn Book Guide, fall, 1999, Jack Forman, review of Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation, p. 377.
Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 1998, review of Ted Turner, p. 399.
School Library Journal, April, 1998, Rebecca O'Connell, review of Madam Secretary, p. 142; August, 1998, Jennifer Ralston, review of Ted Turner, p. 171; May, 1999, Todd Morning, review of Andrew Grove and the Intel Corporation, p. 135; August, 2000, John Peters, review of Carl Sagan, p. 196; July, 2001, Marilyn Heath, review of J.P. Morgan: Banker to a Growing Nation, p. 120.
Voice of Youth Advocates, June, 1998, Maura Bresnahan, review of Madam Secretary, p. 140.