History Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: March 21, 2017

"A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure."
Sexual expression, obscenity, contraception, and abortion are the focus of this wide-ranging legal, political, and social history. Read full book review >
IKE AND MCCARTHY by David A. Nichols
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 21, 2017

"A thorough, well-written, and surprising picture of a man who was much more than a 'do-nothing' president."
New insight into Dwight Eisenhower's silent methods of facing down enemies, particularly Joseph McCarthy. Read full book review >

THE GULF by Jack E. Davis
HISTORY
Released: March 14, 2017

"An elegant narrative braced by a fierce, sobering environmental conviction."
A sweeping environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico that duly considers the ravages of nature and man. Read full book review >
BLITZED by Norman Ohler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Written with dramatic flair (Ohler has published several novels in Germany), this book adds significantly to our understanding of the Third Reich."
An intense chronicle of "systematic drug abuse" in Nazi Germany. Read full book review >
FALLEN GLORY by James Crawford
HISTORY
Released: March 7, 2017

"A well-written prize for students of history, archaeology, and urban planning."
A searching survey of some of humankind's greatest architectural accomplishments. Read full book review >

THE NOVEL OF THE CENTURY by David Bellos
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Anyone who loves Hugo, France, and the French language will revel in this delightful book that explains all the intimacies of 19th-century French life."
A renowned French translator explores the life and legacy of Les Misérables. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"There are countless kernels of amazing achievement and courage throughout this jam-packed, engaging history."
A history of the federal push to bolster women's rights from successive presidents since John F. Kennedy—and the resulting clashes with traditional conservative constituencies. Read full book review >
HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"The Robbins controversy featured arguments about alien rights, asylum, national identity, and the meaning and scope of American citizenship, all of which persist and all of which Ekirch handles with remarkable dexterity."
A historian revisits a little-remembered incident, the murderous 1797 mutiny aboard HMS Hermione, and traces its startling ramifications. Read full book review >
CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." Read full book review >
AGE OF ANGER by Pankaj Mishra
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A probing, well-informed investigation of global unrest calling for 'truly transformative thinking' about humanity's future."
How the failures of capitalism have led to "fear, confusion, loneliness and loss"—and global anger. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 7, 2017

"A lively and edifying narrative with lessons for today."
In her first book, Purnell gets our nerve endings tingling with an exploration of the interplay of mind and body as seen through the lens of the Enlightenment. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >