History Book Reviews

DENG XIAOPING by Alexander V. Pantsov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A masterly work that advances by salient themes and vigorous strokes."
A barbed biography, relentless and occasionally sarcastic, reveals the many problematic facets of the long-lived revolutionary and reformer Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997). Read full book review >
THE COLONEL AND HUG by Steve Steinberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2015

"A top-notch sports biography."
Many baseball fans think it was Babe Ruth who elevated the fledgling (and flagging) New York Yankees team. In this authoritative new work, Steinberg and Spatz (1921: The Yankees, the Giants, and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York, 2010) shine a light on the indispensable contributions of two behind-the-scenes magicians.Read full book review >

DISSENT by Ralph Young
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2015

"Refreshingly democratic—solid supplemental reading to the likes of Terkel and Alinsky, insistent on upholding the rights of political minorities even when they're wrong."
A broad-ranging, evenhanded view of a tradition honed into an art form in America: the use of dissent as "a critique of governance." Read full book review >
WENT THE DAY WELL? by David Crane
HISTORY
Released: April 29, 2015

"A historical tour de force—a fascinating panorama of Great Britain during the summer of Waterloo."
As the armies gathered in June 1815, few doubted that a world-shaking event was in the works. Britons poured into Belgium to witness the excitement; those remaining behind agonized, debated, and quarreled; others went about their daily lives. Read full book review >
THE TWO-STATE DELUSION by Padraig O'Malley
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 28, 2015

"Evenhanded, diplomatic, mutually respectful and enormously useful."
A thoughtful autopsy of the failed two-state paradigm. Read full book review >

A PASSION FOR PARIS by David Downie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2015

"Anyone who loves Paris will adore this joyful book. Readers visiting the city are advised to take it with them to discover countless new experiences."
Join Downie (Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of St. James, 2013, etc.) for a top-notch walking tour of Paris.Read full book review >
MAN IN PROFILE by Thomas Kunkel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Kunkel cannot solve the mystery, but he offers a finely delineated portrait of the man."
The strange trajectory of one writer's career. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Difficult reading, but an extremely well-written political statement about Turkey—not just then, but as it is now."
Actor, playwright and novelist Bogosian (Perforated Heart, 2009, etc.) retells the horrors of the Turkish attempt to eradicate the Armenians: the century's first ethnic cleansing. Read full book review >
THE RELIGION OF DEMOCRACY by Amy Kittelstrom
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"An intellectual history that, while scholarly and broadly allusive, extends beyond the academy walls."
A young scholar's first book finds in America's 19th-century embrace of religious liberalism the seeds of modern political liberalism. Read full book review >
RAIN by Cynthia Barnett
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope."
An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 16, 2015

"For WWII buffs, surely, but also for general readers looking to understand the damage inflicted and the terror inspired by the Japanese suicide squadrons."
A prolific popular historian specializing in World War II tells the incredible story of the "destroyer with a heart that couldn't be broken." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A meticulously detailed, welcome addition to the literature of World War I, the 'first ‘total' war in which all the resources of the state were involved.'"
TV producer and writer Downing (Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII, 2013, etc.) recounts the complete transformation of warfare during World War I, the first industrialized war.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >