History Book Reviews (page 11)

PARIS AT WAR by David Drake
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 16, 2015

"Students of French and World War II history will enjoy and learn from this well-written book."
The plight of ordinary Parisians during World War II. Read full book review >
THE WELL-EDUCATED MIND by Susan Wise Bauer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 16, 2015

"A useful resource for highly self-motivated readers."
Humanities home schooling for adults. Read full book review >

THE ART OF GRACE by Sarah L. Kaufman
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 16, 2015

"An insightful, intelligent examination of grace, which often 'seems to elude fixed meaning.'"
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post dance critic Kaufman reflects on the meaning of grace in modern society.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2015

"This study of Indo-European's primal building blocks and their interactions should be irresistible to the layman or devotee of origins. Stevens, an adventurer in language, demonstrates considerable prowess (from Es, to exist) in making the journey both edifying and entertaining."
Stevens (Thirty Days Has September: Cool Ways to Remember Stuff, 2008) proves etymology remains a lively pursuit in this engrossing, sometimes-startling dissection of Indo-European, an ancient language that is the basis for half of the world's modern tongues.Read full book review >
YOUNG ELIZABETH by Kate Williams
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2015

"A celebratory and entertaining royal biography."
Early-life biography of the queen, who "in one sense…is the twentieth century."Read full book review >

COVENTRY by Frederick Taylor
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 14, 2015

"A superb portrait of some of the realities of World War II and the increasingly destructive technology created during that time."
Taylor (Exorcising Hitler: The Occupation and Denazification of Germany, 2011, etc.) exposes one of the 20th century's most savage military innovations, aerial bombing, in a well-researched, engaging book about a vicious Luftwaffe bombing in England at the beginning of World War II.Read full book review >
BATTLING THE GODS by Tim Whitmarsh
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 13, 2015

"Though not for those seeking a light read, this is a seminal work on the subject, to be studied, reread, and referenced."
Whitmarsh (Greek Culture/Univ. of Cambridge; Beyond the Second Sophistic: Adventures in Greek Postclassicism, 2013, etc.) explores the evolution of atheism from Homer to the Roman Empire.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 11, 2015

"An important book that warrants a place at the forefront of Prohibition histories. General readers will love it, and scholars will find much to ponder."
The surprising ways in which a failed social experiment helped shape modern America. Read full book review >
THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE by Terri Blom Crocker
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 11, 2015

"The style is traditional, even stodgy, while the discoveries may be revolutionary in World War I historiography."
A doctoral candidate and senior paralegal debuts with a sharp look at the so-called "Christmas truce" of 1914, discovering that distortion has colored many accounts of it—and of World War I itself. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH by Lisa Hilton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Mildly revisionist, well-argued, and thoroughly satisfying."
There is no shortage of biographies of Britain's Elizabeth I (1533-1603), but readers should pay attention to this thoughtful, often ingenious account. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Readers willing to accept this book as more than hagiography will find a penetrating exploration of how the legislative process works—or at least worked in the recent past."
Through the story of Ted Kennedy (1932-2009), the authors deliver a primer on how the governmental sausage was made not so long ago. Read full book review >
TRAGIC ENCOUNTER by Page Smith
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"As this abundantly detailed history shows, no one evades blame for the bloody past."
Rejecting an idealized version of American tribal life, a historian tells a complex story. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >