History Book Reviews (page 2)

THEIR PROMISED LAND by Ian Buruma
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"The author shapes his family's labor of a lifetime into a scintillating work of art."
A prizewinning historian recounts his German-Jewish family's time in England during the most turbulent years of the 20th century. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A well-organized, deeply researched work that ably digests the Balkan war, the criminals, the criminal court, and its legacy."
A bracing history of the hunt for Balkan war criminals and the seminal establishment of the Hague Tribunal in 1993. Read full book review >

BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
QUEEN OF SPIES by Paddy Hayes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"As exciting as any good spy thriller—but it's all true."
Intelligence researcher Hayes opens the door on the fascinating life of one of England's greatest spies, Daphne Park (1921-2010). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 15, 2016

"A fantastic book that finally assigns Kinsale its rightful place in history."
Journalist Ekin (The Stolen Village: Baltimore and the Barbary Pirates, 2006, etc.) chronicles the 1601 siege of Kinsale, 100 days that changed history.Read full book review >

THE <i>DEFENDER</i> by Ethan Michaeli
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A pertinent, well-fashioned American success saga."
This chronicle of the influential black Chicago newspaper simultaneously tracks the important issues pertaining to African-American history from the turn of the 19th century. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"An unusual and vastly entertaining journey into the world of mysterious plant life as experienced by a gifted nature writer."
A prolific and talented British nature writer explores 40 plant species and how they have influenced the human imagination over the centuries. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A ghastly, dizzying descent into the coldblooded clannishness of the Southern racist mindset."
A dogged pursuit takes a journalist into uncomfortable corners of her Southern family's complicity in a small-town lynching. Read full book review >
MARGARET THATCHER by Charles Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Moore will probably not change minds about the Iron Lady, but readers inclined to be as fair-minded as he will find much of interest in his account of her years in power."
British historian/writer Moore delivers the second volume in his authorized biography of the pioneering—and divisive—prime minister. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Prothero brilliantly shows how the same groups drive conflicts year after year and often lose—and how the results eventually make us stronger. Useful, instructive reading for all voters in the upcoming election year."
Prothero (Religion/Boston Univ.; The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation, 2012, etc.) gives hope to liberals who think conservatives are taking over.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A beautifully rendered work wrought with enormous care and sense of compassionate dignity."
An intimately detailed look at the agony of a Japanese-American family struggling to maintain American loyalty amid discrimination and war. Read full book review >
DISASTER DRAWN by Hillary L. Chute
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Though this academic study has a stylistic density that a general readership might occasionally find difficult, the epiphanies are worth the effort."
An illuminating analysis of graphic narrative's documentary power. 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 >