History Book Reviews (page 13)

STALIN'S ENGLISHMAN by Andrew Lownie
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A crack biography of a man who was a preposterous enigma."
A biography of "the most complex and enigmatic of the Cambridge Spies," a group of men recruited during the 1930s to spy for the Soviet Union. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A rollicking tale of 'unparalleled bravery and ingenuity, interspersed with moments of rank incompetence, raw brutality and touching human frailty.'"
An "authorized" but not "official" or "comprehensive" history of Britain's swashbuckling Special Air Service. Read full book review >

OPEN TO DEBATE by Heather Hendershot
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A thoroughly researched work replete with intelligence, admiration, balanced criticism, and even a bit of nostalgia."
A generous description and analysis of Firing Line, the weekly TV show hosted for three decades by conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. Read full book review >
BRIDGE OF WORDS by Esther Schor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Schor is strongest in tracing Esperanto's past and present, but she is less persuasive about its robust future in fostering transnational identity, 'durable international networks,' and a strong sense of 'belonging to the world.'"
The history of a new language that was invented "to bring conversation to a world of misunderstanding." Read full book review >
GHOSTLAND by Colin Dickey
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An intriguing but somewhat uneven exploration of things unseen."
"If you want to understand a place, ignore the boasting monuments and landmarks, and go straight to the haunted houses." Read full book review >

AMERICAN ULYSSES by Ronald C. White
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"An engaging resurrection of Grant featuring excellent maps and character sketches."
This scholarly but readable biography of the Civil War general and president finds some new facets in understanding "the silent man." Read full book review >
THE HOSTAGE'S DAUGHTER by Sulome Anderson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A middling book, much of it a footnote to an event that's already well-receded into history, even though it is part of a larger conflict still unfolding."
A firsthand view of conflict in the Middle East. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Western history buffs will enjoy this entertaining but middling account, burrs under the saddle and all."
The story of an inspired stunt on the part of Buffalo Bill Cody, who organized a horse race from Nebraska to Chicago, the winner claiming his prize in the arena at Cody's Wild West Show right next door to the world-changing Columbian Exposition of 1893. Read full book review >
HERBERT HOOVER by Glen Jeansonne
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A hagiographic survey of an activist president agitating on the wrong side of history. A decent resource, but readers are encouraged to also consult Charles Rappleye's Herbert Hoover in the White House (2016)."
Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) as a lifelong champion of true GOP ideals. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A first-rate history filled with revealing incidents and informed analysis."
A 1st Circuit Court of Appeals judge chronicles the centurieslong push/pull between the executive and the legislative branches over the conduct of America's wars. Read full book review >
THE PATH TO WAR by Michael S. Neiberg
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"A valiant attempt to dispel 'America's collective amnesia over the First World War.'"
A fresh look at America's reluctance to enter World War I as a mass consensus rather than any single faulty decision by President Woodrow Wilson. Read full book review >
THE <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> DISUNION by Ted Widmer
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 3, 2016

"An excellent teaching tool, perfect for libraries."
Noted academics, scholars, editors, and historians contribute to a collection of fresh, provocative essays on the Civil War, first published in digital form by the New York Times. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >