History Book Reviews (page 5)

HISTORY
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Though the narrative offers a depressing picture of Russian Jews, it is packed with wonderful stories of strength, intelligence, and impressive perseverance."
Moscow-born Gessen (The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy, 2015, etc.) addresses the story of the Jewish struggle for autonomy in Stalin's Russia. Read full book review >
THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH by Tom Wolfe
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Typically, Wolfe throws a Molotov cocktail at conventional wisdom in a book that won't settle any argument but is sure to start some."
A fresh look at an old controversy, as a master provocateur suggests that human language renders the theory of evolution more like a fable than scientific fact. Read full book review >

THE TERROR YEARS by Lawrence Wright
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Fans of Wright will have already encountered these pieces, but the collection represents yet more great work from a dedicated journalist."
Pulitzer Prize winner Wright (Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, 2014, etc.) pulls together 10 in-depth pieces he originally wrote for the New Yorker and fashions them, somewhat updated and otherwise revised, into a cohesive book. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A splendid, challenging mixture of information and fun."
From barely decipherable scratches on ancient surfaces to the latest bestseller: a history of the book, its numerous ancestors, and its underlying technologies. Read full book review >
COMPANY CONFESSIONS by Christopher Moran
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"An informative historical summation of CIA memoirs with enough skulduggery to entertain casual readers."
A concise overview of the CIA's troubled dealings with spies-turned-authors. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"An uneven biography that should still find an audience with budding journalists and those interested in a significant period in the history of print journalism."
An account of the adventurous life of Alicia Patterson (1906-1963), founder and editor of Newsday. Read full book review >
THE COMMANDER by Laila Parsons
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A remarkably evenhanded biography of an important player in Arab history that doubles as a crucial scholarly reinterpretation of the rise and fall of Arab nationalism."
Biography of the famous early-20th-century Arab nationalist and soldier Fawzi al-Qawuqji (1890-1977). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"The author's elegant narrative conveys how the love for these amazing creatures transcends national animosities."
A singular spotlight on the concerted World War II effort to save Lipizzaner stallions. Read full book review >
DOUBLE ACE by Robert Coram
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Scott remains a footnote, but Coram's book is a pleasure for fans of military aviation history."
Military biographer Coram (Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine, 2010, etc.) continues his campaign of restoring heroes-turned-footnotes to historical memory. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Race, patriotism, and personal heroism come together in this eye-opening early episode in Civil War history."
A Civil War tale starring a free black sailor. Read full book review >
SEVEN SKELETONS by Lydia Pyne
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Ian Tattersall's The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack (2015) remains the best popular modern history of human evolution, but Pyne casts her net more widely, adding captivating accounts of how each discovery fascinated the mass media and entered literature and popular culture."
Describing human evolution through accounts of fossils that became media events might seem a publicity ploy, but science journalist Pyne (Institute for Historical Studies/Univ. of Texas; Bookshelf, 2016, etc.) pulls it off. Read full book review >
ALTAMONT by Joel Selvin
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"The detailing of the actual concert reads like old news, and the sourcing could be clearer, but this is a compelling analysis of an event that hadn't seemed like it needed anything more written about it."
An incisive account of the most infamous concert debacle in rock history. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >