History Book Reviews (page 11)

THE VANQUISHED by Robert Gerwarth
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A thorough explanation for the rise of the nationalist and fascist groups who set the stage for World War II."
The first study of the disorders that shook all the defeated states of Europe following World War I. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A lively contribution to popular histories of New York and its institutions, worthy of shelving alongside Robert Caro's The Power Broker and Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace's Gotham."
An eye-opening history of the Manhattan hospital whose name is a byword for asylums everywhere. Read full book review >

WRITING TO SAVE A LIFE by John Edgar Wideman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A book seething with the passion and sense of outrage behind the Black Lives Matter movement that also traces specific roots of the movement's genealogy."
The present illuminates the past—but can't provide resolution—in this generation-spanning meditation on injustice. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"An interesting read but not an innovative history."
A retelling of the well-studied history of biblical translation. Read full book review >
SHADOW WARS by Christopher Davidson
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"An exhaustively researched account that will find its most extensive readership in the academic and diplomatic communities."
Scholarly study of the reactionary counterterrorism patterns established for centuries—e.g., the Jacobite risings of 1688; the Thermidorian reaction to the French Revolution, etc.—now driving the Western reaction to jihadi terror. Read full book review >

RASPUTIN by Douglas Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A tour de force of research from the Russian archives, the book is a deeply detailed, occasionally plodding biography of one of history's most malleable characters."
On the centenary of his death, a vigorous attempt to penetrate the monstrous myths surrounding Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin (1869-1916). Read full book review >
BEAR by Robert Greenfield
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Essential for Deadheads but also an engaging cultural portrait for anyone interested in the era."
The high life and low times of the original Acid King. Read full book review >
TWENTY-SIX SECONDS by Alexandra Zapruder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"An intriguing history of one of the most significant home movies ever recorded."
A meticulous history of an iconic home movie and its contentious afterlife. Read full book review >
WONDERLAND by Steven Johnson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's an infectious spirit of delight in the prose, which matches the themes in a book that will engage even those not entirely convinced by its thesis to take a look from a different perspective."
An illumination of how civilization advances through the ways in which it plays. Read full book review >
A MOST IMPROBABLE JOURNEY by Walter Alvarez
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"The science is impeccable, the history a tad simplistic. An Ascent of Man-like approach to the subject of Big History would be most welcome, but this isn't quite it."
Count yourself lucky that you live on a planet with gravity—and silicon. Read full book review >
RETHINK by Steven Poole
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's not much that's new here, but that's the point. A modest, enjoyable look at the care and feeding of creativity."
When seeking inspiration, Guardian columnist Poole (Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How that Message Becomes Reality, 2006, etc.) writes, it's not a bad idea to sift through the junk pile for second thoughts. Read full book review >
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE TALKING BOOK by Matthew Rubery
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 14, 2016

"A well-informed but tepid history."
An overview of how the spoken word has been captured on records, tapes, cassettes, and digital devices. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >