History Book Reviews

DRIVE! by Lawrence Goldstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"'Horse Is Doomed,' read one headline in 1895. This highly readable popular history tells why."
The creation of the American automobile. Read full book review >
SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >

EAST WEST STREET by Philippe Sands
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"For the future of humanity, forgetting, Sands insists in this vastly important book, is not an option."
An engrossing tale of family secrets and groundbreaking legal precedents. Read full book review >
ROGUE JUSTICE by Karen J. Greenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sophisticated study of executive tyranny in the never-ending war on terror."
A terrifying history of American surveillance in the 21st century that shows how the government has eroded civil liberties since 9/11. Read full book review >
THE BITTER TASTE OF VICTORY by Lara Feigel
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"A deep, significant exploration of artistic atonement in postwar Germany."
An elucidating cultural study explores the ways artists forged a sense of redemption—both personal and societal—from the devastation of post-World War II Germany. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"A thoroughly impressive debut."
In his first book, a former infantry sergeant-turned-historian surveys more than 200 years of the administration of American military justice. Read full book review >
THE GENE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"Sobering, humbling, and extraordinarily rich reading from a wise and gifted writer who sees how far we have come—but how much farther we have to go to understand our human nature and destiny."
A panoramic history of the gene and how genetics "resonate[s] far beyond the realms of science." Read full book review >
BITTER FREEDOM by Maurice Walsh
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"An excellent history, but more importantly, a sharply written portrait of a people and their long struggle to survive."
Walsh (Journalism/Kingston Coll.; The News from Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution, 2008) digs into the heart of the fight to establish an Irish Republic.Read full book review >
THE BOYS IN THE BUNKHOUSE by Dan Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"Gently, empathetically, and indelibly, Barry conveys a tale of unthinkable brutality."
A gripping indictment of society's treatment of "losers." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2016

"Great fun for anyone with even a slight knowledge of Roman and English history and geography—or those curious about them."
A delightful trip from Rome to Hadrian's Wall—in C.E. 130. Read full book review >
THE POLITICIANS AND THE EGALITARIANS by Sean Wilentz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 11, 2016

"A master scholar delivers a delightfully stimulating historical polemic."
A stern, thoroughly satisfying harangue on the realities of politics in the United States by the veteran, prizewinning historian. Read full book review >
THE ROMANOVS by Simon Sebag Montefiore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"A magisterial portrayal of these 'megalomaniacs, monsters and saints' as eminently human and fallible."
A lively work illustrating the personalities, sensuality, and steely wills of the long line of Russian rulers. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >