Books by Paul Johnson

EISENHOWER by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 4, 2014

"A 120-page monograph cannot replace a complete biography, the best being Jean Edward Smith's Eisenhower in War and Peace (2012). Though Johnson's well-known right-wing views deliver an occasional jolt, this book remains a thoroughly entertaining introduction."
When he left office in 1961, historians considered Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) a second-rate president. His reputation's steady rise is not interrupted by this admiring, opinionated account by veteran British journalist and historian Johnson (Mozart, 2013, etc.).
Read full book review >
STALIN by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"Whether the book can remedy that situation is unknown, as well, but as informed opinion, it's very satisfying."
Slender character study of "one of the outstanding monsters civilization has yet produced." Read full book review >
MOZART by Paul Johnson
Released: Nov. 18, 2013

"A hard-sell hagiography but also a compact and knowledgeable portrait of genius."
An impassioned mash note to an immeasurable artist. Read full book review >
DARWIN by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2012

"A probing, well-written overview of Darwin's impact."
A provocative short biography of one of the most influential scientists of all time. Read full book review >
SOCRATES by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 17, 2011

"A succinct, useful exploration of life in ancient Athens and of the great philosopher's essential beliefs."
Acclaimed historian and biographer Johnson (Humorists: From Hogarth to Noel Coward, 2010, etc.) offers a short celebration of the life and influence of the Athenian philosopher. Read full book review >
CHURCHILL by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2009

"Personal reflections meet large-scale history, most satisfyingly."
A slender volume on that most unslender of subjects, Winston Churchill. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 27, 2007

"The author's vast stores of scholarship and reading keep this jaunty trek from becoming corny."
In a companion volume to Creators: From Chaucer and Durer to Picasso and Disney (2006), prolific English historian Johnson offers a highly idiosyncratic selection of his favorite extraordinary mortals, male and female. Read full book review >
GEORGE WASHINGTON by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2005

"Slight, sometimes debatable but thoroughly well written: a good starting point for those who want to brush up on why Washington matters all these years later."
A slender, interpretation-laden biography of the first president. Read full book review >
ART by Paul Johnson
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Unorthodox, and definitely not for beginners, but a delightful exercise for the educated consumer."
Unapologetically opinionated, slightly Anglocentric narrative from respected popular historian Johnson (A History of the American People, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >
NAPOLEON by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 13, 2002

"Despite an evident distaste for his subject, Johnson's sharp-edged view of Napoleon is well supported, and well worth considering."
The glory of France and the erstwhile Whig hero comes up short in this biography by a historian of decidedly Tory bent. Read full book review >
THE RENAISSANCE by Paul Johnson
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 2000

"Respectful but not overawed, a look at the Renaissance that will energize general readers to revisit and re-evaluate Renaissance art and architecture."
If it's Thursday, this must be Michelangelo—a stimulating and sophisticated, if rapid, tour of the Italian Renaissance (with the emphasis on the visual arts in the 15th and 16th centuries). Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE by Paul Johnson
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1998

"Nonetheless, Johnson tries to do too much here, and the overall result is as much of a labor to read as it must have been to write."
From veteran British popular historian Johnson, an overly exhaustive account of the vigorous and violent growth of several small British colonies into the modern American nation. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: May 1, 1996

"Nuanced and always informative, Johnson is guaranteed to stimulate even when he does not convince."
Eminent English historian of ideas Johnson (The Birth of the Modern, 1991, etc.) draws on his years of research and his classic Roman Catholicism to offer a worldview that is as personal as it is intellectually provocative. Read full book review >
OPERATION REMISSION by Paul Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 20, 1994

"A slow start builds to a rich mix of character and plot—and a big jump upward for second-novelist Johnson (Killing the Blues, 1987)."
Resurrection and elegy for the roust-'em-outta-their-beds antics of the antiwar hippies of the Sixties, designed as a thought-rousing, adult suspenser. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 5, 1991

"Maddeningly long and highly opinionated, but a lively and readable history of a world "exhilarated and sometimes bewildered by the rapid changes which were transforming it."
A gargantuan panorama of the 15 transforming years immediately after the Napoleonic era, when "peace came and immense new resources in finance, management, science and technology which were now available could be put to constructive purposes." Read full book review >
INTELLECTUALS by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 1989

"An outspoken study, then, founded upon the belief that traditional values and virtues are the most reliable guides to private conduct and public policy—and that the opinions of intellectuals are often dangerous."
An iconoclastic collection of 12 critical and biographical estimates of leading writers—Rousseau, Shelley, Marx, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Sartre, Russell, and others—with a final chapter commenting more briefly on figures such as Orwell, Mailer, Baldwin, and Chomsky. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF THE JEWS by Paul Johnson
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1987

"A very readable, useful introduction, then, especially to modern Jewish history."
A sympathetic portrait of Jewish history that is, unavoidably, sometimes idiosyncratic in its selection of material to include or omit; it's also purposefully careful to focus more on external than internal Jewish life. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 1, 1983

"Cankerous."
The British author of Enemies of Society (1977), a diatribe against Freudianism and Marxism, has cast his likes and dislikes in a historical narrative. Read full book review >
POPE JOHN PAUL II AND THE CATHOLIC RESTORATION by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 8, 1982

"If not, Johnson's effort is liable to sound like just another shrill blast on the Vatican trumpet."
The best conservative treatment of the Pope to date, but so fiercely partisan that no one to the left of William Buckley will be able to stomach it. Read full book review >
ENEMIES OF SOCIETY by Paul Johnson
Released: Aug. 1, 1977

"Occasionally slipping into hysterics, this book merely updates Popper's questionable work without adding any sustained theoretical content."
Freedom and civilization are the products of middle-class values and activities, and those who question those values are enemies of society'—such is the tired and outworn conclusion of this tired and pretentious tract. Read full book review >
HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY by Paul Johnson
RELIGION
Released: Aug. 1, 1976

"Though scholars can cavil at points of detail, Johnson's book is a bold achievement of compression and analysis."
A first-rate history of Christianity from its emergence into a chaotic world ripe for universal monotheism to the nadir of triumphalism in the 20th century. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH I by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 3, 1974

"Totally involving biography, perhaps even touched with relevance for our own era of crisis in world leadership."
This in-depth portrait of English history's consummate stateswoman — her "Justice, temper, magnanimity, judgment" (the queen's own assessment of what best fitted a monarch) — focuses on politics rather than the cult of personality. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 19, 1972

"But despite this firm back-of-the-hand to national stereotypes, Johnson has a great affection for the slow moving, genial islanders and their unique capacity to muddle through."
A graceful and effortless perusal of 1500 years of English history, social habits, law and politics by the former editor of the New Statesman. Read full book review >
PENELOPE THE PURPLE PIRATE by Melissa Northway
IPAD BOOK APPS

"After even casual exposure to the plethora of better-designed, more feature-rich apps currently available, children will likely greet this effort with a (to quote Penelope) "Yaaawwn." (iPad storybook app. 5-7)"
Low (apparently) of budget and bland (certainly) of content, this digital tale follows a child on an imaginary voyage to an island where she and her companions dig up a treasure chest, take a few glittery souvenirs and sail home to bed. Read full book review >