History Book Reviews (page 11)

GRANADA by Steven Nightingale
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A romantic, at times overly sentimental homage to a city 'perfected by catastrophe' and transformed into a place of 'concentrated joy.'"
Poet and novelist Nightingale (The Wings of What You Say, 2013, etc.) makes his nonfiction debut in this rhapsodic paean to the Spanish city, where he, his wife and young daughter now live part of each year.
Read full book review >
ALPHABETICAL by Michael Rosen
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A delightfully informative book about letters, their meanings, and the words and meanings we derive from them."
A poet, writer of children's books and host of BBC Radio 4's Word of Mouth tells the history of each letter in our alphabet.Read full book review >

MR. AND MRS. DISRAELI by Daisy Hay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"With this new addition to Disraeli-ana, readers will be enlightened by the younger man and how alike he was to Mary Anne, who became the love of his life."
A dual biography of Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) and Mary Anne Lewis. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Zamoyski provides perhaps too many examples of severe sentencing of innocents, but his point is important, and his book comprehensively examines the role of the powerful over the weak and the effects of governmental overreactions."
Zamoyski (Poland: A History, 2012, etc.) shows how the French Revolution instigated fear in the hearts of European governments, most of it unfounded and falsely propagated by undefined fears and self-perpetuating rumors.Read full book review >
MADISON'S GIFT by David O. Stewart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Stewart's lively character sketches employ sprightly prose and impeccable research."
A fond portrait of the mild-mannered Virginian and implacable advocate for the young American government. Read full book review >

WHO'S AFRAID OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM? by Akeel Bilgrami
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Cogent essays about a topic crucial to the university and to all discourse in a democracy."
Scholars consider threats to free inquiry. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Mort's delightful prose will entice readers of history, geography, Native American studies and sociology. All will revel in the feeling of being in the Dakotas at the end of the 19th century."
The history of Gen. George Custer's 1,000-man exploration across 300 miles of Dakota Plains in search of gold. Read full book review >
SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The great debates of history aired out with satisfying vigor."
Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) provides an immersion into the important revolutions that shaped world history: cognitive, agricultural and scientific. The book was originally published in Israel in 2011 and became a best-seller. Read full book review >
THE LONGEST AFTERNOON by Brendan Simms
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Since literacy was common even among enlisted men, Simms takes advantage of abundant letters and memoirs to deliver an engrossing, often gruesome nuts-and-bolts description of that afternoon."
A slim but gripping account of the bloody, heroic defense of La Haye Sainte, a farmhouse that Napoleon had to capture to reach the Duke of Wellington's army. Read full book review >
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. DOYLE by Daniel L. Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"At first muddled and confusing, the book goes on to raise intriguing questions and possibilities for fans of both men."
A father-and-son team exposes the similarities of two very strange men, Jack the Ripper and Arthur Conan Doyle. Read full book review >
TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD by Steven Weinberg
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"While Weinberg confines most mathematics to a 95-page appendix, readers will strain to comprehend some of the lengthy nuts-and-bolts explanations, but those who persist will come away with a stimulating view of how humans learn from nature."
Histories of science celebrate great thinkers of the past. In this ingenious account, theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Weinberg (Chair in Science/Univ. of Texas; Lectures on Quantum Mechanics, 2012, etc.) celebrates generously but gives equal emphasis to why they often missed the mark.Read full book review >
BELIEVER by David Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >