True Crime Book Reviews (page 3)

HEAVEN'S DITCH by Jack Kelly
Released: July 5, 2016

"An intriguing synthesis of American cultural and economic currents in the early 19th century, all culminating with the completion of the Erie Canal."
Historian Kelly (Band of Giants: The American Soldiers Who Won America's Independence, 2014, etc.) weaves together diverse strands of early New York state history for an improbable yet oddly compelling narrative of social, political, and religious visionaries. Read full book review >
OBAMA'S GUANTÁNAMO by Jonathan Hafetz
Released: July 5, 2016

"An alarming and important indictment of Obama's ineffectual approach to one of his signature campaign issues and of America's tarnished system of justice as a whole."
As Barack Obama's presidency comes to a close, lawyers who defend inmates at Guantánamo assess his broken promise to close the prison and the legacy he will leave. Read full book review >

Released: June 30, 2016

"A maddening, important indictment of the shadow economy that flourishes even as the legitimate economy suffers and just the thing to tip a person debating whether to join the Occupy movement or vote for Bernie Sanders over the edge."
Hiding money in offshore accounts to keep it from the publicans is an old trick—but it is now so prevalent that, far from being "a minor part of our economic system," it is the system. Read full book review >
Released: June 28, 2016

"The author's vivid details of South Africa's persistent racism, abject poverty, and continuing oppression are undermined by unnecessary repetition."
Unraveling a web of evidence in a notorious murder. Read full book review >
EXONEREE DIARIES by Alison Flowers
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly researched, provocative book of justice gone wrong."
Chicago journalist Flowers goes deep into the cases of three innocent men and a woman serving at least a decade in prison for crimes they never committed. Read full book review >

Released: June 7, 2016

"A vivid, well-written, vitally important book."
Most of the nation's approximately 18,000 police departments receive scathing criticism from one of their own: an author who began as a San Diego beat cop in 1966 and rose to become a police chief in Seattle. Read full book review >
THE LYNCHING by Laurence Leamer
Released: June 7, 2016

"An engrossing true-crime narrative and a pertinent reminder of the consequences of organized hatred."
A powerful account of how a Ku Klux Klan-sanctioned lynching in Mobile, Alabama, paved the way for legal victories against such hate groups. Read full book review >
Released: June 7, 2016

"Will not appeal to hard-core law-and-order types, but others will find this a brave and empathetic story of how literature brings light into shadows."
Compassionate account of running a literary reading group among convicts at Maryland's Jessup maximum security prison. Read full book review >
A GOOD MONTH FOR MURDER by Del Quentin Wilber
Released: June 7, 2016

"Readable, appealing true crime with an undercurrent of unease at the violence creeping into so many postindustrial 'edge city' communities."
Propulsive account of a hard-charging homicide unit in a high-crime Washington, D.C., suburb. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2016

"First-rate reporting and a seminar in how to employ context in investigative and historical journalism."
A veteran journalist uses a variety of lenses to illuminate the dark story of the Black Legion, an association of murderous (white) domestic terrorists who briefly thrived in the upper Midwest. Read full book review >
WHITE RAGE by Carol Anderson
Released: May 31, 2016

"A book that provides necessary perspective on the racial conflagrations in the U.S."
A close reading of America's racial chasm. Read full book review >
JANE DOE JANUARY by Emily Winslow
Released: May 24, 2016

"A potently rendered chronicle of rape and the clarity and closure achieved even when justice is only partially served."
The story of a Pennsylvania serial rapist who stood trial two decades after his assault on the author. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >