History Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant history of the Dark Ages showing the growth and development of science, business, fashion, law, politics and other significant institutions—a joy to read and reread."
Novelist, journalist and historian Pye (The Pieces from Berlin, 2004, etc.) challenges all our notions of the Dark Ages and shows the vast accomplishments completed long before the Renaissance.Read full book review >
LENS OF WAR by J. Matthew Gallman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant starting point for truly understanding the Civil War. As the authors point out, there is still much to explore."
A pictorial guide to the changes in our historical views of the Civil War, curated by Gallman (History/Univ. of Florida; Northerners at War, 2010, etc.) and Gallagher (History/Univ. of Virginia; The Union War, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >

MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >
KL by Nikolaus Wachsmann
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"A comprehensive, encyclopedic work that should be included in the collections of libraries, schools and other institutions."
A harrowing, thorough study of the Nazi camps that gathers a staggering amount of useful and necessary information on the collective catastrophe. Read full book review >
THE INTIMATE BOND by Brian Fagan
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though reminding us of the cruelties still visited upon animals and insisting that we respect them anew—not merely as pets or idealized creatures of the wild—Fagan offers no resolutions to our conflicting attitudes toward them, but his compelling, cohesive book calls for further enlightenment."
Fagan (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara; The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, 2013, etc.) brings consummate skill to this frequently horrifying study of humanity's interaction with animals.Read full book review >

SWANSONG 1945 by Walter Kempowski
HISTORY
Released: April 13, 2015

"A riveting portrait of what Kurt Weill called the 'total breakdown of all human dignity,' revealed through the bric-a-brac of war-shattered lives."
From the absurd to the sublime, and everywhere heartbreaking: a collage of voices from the tail end of the world's conflagration. Read full book review >
TARGET TOKYO by James M. Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A spirited, comprehensive and highly readable account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
A new treatment of the daring Doolittle raids over Tokyo that fills in many of the gaps in the true story. Read full book review >
BONAPARTE by Patrice Gueniffey
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A masterful portrait, staggeringly complete and contradictory and fluently translated—a delight to read."
Wonderfully lyrical, historically nuanced exploration of the irruption of this Romantic hero. Read full book review >
AMERICAN WARLORD by Johnny Dwyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 10, 2015

"A dark triumph—a meticulous geopolitical narrative and gripping tale of an American son lost to evil."
Shocking page-turner about Liberian dictator Charles Taylor's American-born son, Chucky, the first U.S citizen to be federally prosecuted for torture. Read full book review >
ONE NATION UNDER GOD by Kevin K. Kruse
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 7, 2015

"In a book for readers from both parties, Kruse ably demonstrates how the simple ornamental mottoes 'under God' and 'In God We Trust,' as well as the fight to define America as Christian, were parts of a clever business plan."
Kruse (History/Princeton Univ.; White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism, 2007, etc.) explains the links between capitalism and Christianity.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2015

"A superb chronicle, long—but no longer than needed—and detailed, that sheds light on how the war on terror is being waged today."
A stirring history of that bad time, 45-odd years ago, when we didn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing, though we knew it was loud. Read full book review >
THEIR LAST FULL MEASURE by Joseph Wheelan
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"Wheelan has combed entire libraries to make this thoroughly readable, lucid survey. Well-practiced buffs will welcome the book, but novices can approach it without much background knowledge, too."
First-rate study of the often overlooked closing months of the Civil War, which, though the impending end was visible, saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >