History Book Reviews

Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days by Will Bashor
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Impressive, well-researched, useful, and accessible, though some readers may feel that the book's sympathies for the doomed queen remain misplaced."
This scholarly work thoroughly documents Marie Antoinette's imprisonment, trial, and execution. Read full book review >
RECOLLECTIONS by Olivier Zunz
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"In many ways as relevant as the day it was written and great fun to read."
A shrewd, on-the-ground account of how political change is made—and unmade—by the author of Democracy in America. Read full book review >

THE MAYOR OF MOGADISHU by Andrew Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand."
A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray into the tumultuous history of Somalia as lived by an intriguing impresario and activist. Read full book review >
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE by David France
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history."
How scientists and citizens banded together to lift the death sentence from AIDS. Read full book review >
THE PURSUIT OF POWER by Richard J. Evans
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"An immensely readable work that considers incremental continental developments up to the outbreak of war in 1914."
A 100-year survey of European history that moves by transnational themes emphasizing "power"—over industrialization, class, selfhood, wages, and nature. Read full book review >

MEDIEVAL EUROPE by Chris Wickham
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"Far-ranging, fluent, and thoughtful—of considerable interest to students of history writ large, and not just of Europe."
A thorough survey of the European continent in the time between antiquity and modernity. Read full book review >
TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE by Philippe Girard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A groundbreaking biography that underscores the difficulties of leading slaves to freedom and avoiding violent extremes."
A biography of the man who challenged the power of the leading empires of his day and led the only successful slave revolt in human history. Read full book review >
ISLAND PEOPLE by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"An eminently well-informed narrative."
A geographer's exuberant travel narrative about the nations and people of the Caribbean. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A book remarkable for its depth, breadth, and intellectual daring."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian examines the fanatical secular religion of American exceptionalism and why it is leading government officials and the electorate astray in an increasingly violent world. Read full book review >
ISTANBUL by Thomas F. Madden
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"An illuminating journey through the history and culture of the metropolis that 'still towers over all other cities in Europe and the Middle East.'"
The author of Venice: A New History (2012) returns with the astonishing and sanguinary story of the iconic city on the Bosporus. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A largely untold, engrossing history of our nation's fraught, and unlikely, path to liberty."
European allies supplied arms, ammunition, uniforms, savvy commanders, engineers, and soldiers to aid the American Revolution. Read full book review >
THE HISTORY OF ROCK & ROLL, VOLUME 1 by Ed Ward
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A spry study that should inspire listening with newly informed ears to old tunes, from 'Bulldozer Blues' to 'Teenager in Love' and beyond."
A dean of rock journalism delivers the first volume of a magnum opus on a subject that never ceases to fascinate. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >