History Book Reviews (page 2)

HIS FINAL BATTLE by Joseph Lelyveld
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"An elegant, affecting work that offers fresh insights on a much-mythologized president."
Eloquently exposing the open secret of Franklin Roosevelt's advanced heart disease. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"A splendid, challenging mixture of information and fun."
From barely decipherable scratches on ancient surfaces to the latest bestseller: a history of the book, its numerous ancestors, and its underlying technologies. Read full book review >

TROUBLED REFUGE by Chandra Manning
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Manning conveys in gritty detail the fraught alliance between refugees and their military protectors."
A history of slaves who took refuge with the Union Army on their journey to freedom. Read full book review >
SEVEN SKELETONS by Lydia Pyne
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Ian Tattersall's The Strange Case of the Rickety Cossack (2015) remains the best popular modern history of human evolution, but Pyne casts her net more widely, adding captivating accounts of how each discovery fascinated the mass media and entered literature and popular culture."
Describing human evolution through accounts of fossils that became media events might seem a publicity ploy, but science journalist Pyne (Institute for Historical Studies/Univ. of Texas; Bookshelf, 2016, etc.) pulls it off. Read full book review >
ALTAMONT by Joel Selvin
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"The detailing of the actual concert reads like old news, and the sourcing could be clearer, but this is a compelling analysis of an event that hadn't seemed like it needed anything more written about it."
An incisive account of the most infamous concert debacle in rock history. Read full book review >

THE STORY OF EGYPT by Joann Fletcher
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"The authoritative author imparts her vast knowledge in an orderly chronology and lively, intimate history. A perfect choice for budding Egyptologists."
A sweeping look at this epic history emphasizing the role of women rulers. Read full book review >
HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >
THE GLAMOUR OF STRANGENESS by Jamie James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Abundant primary sources inform James' sharply drawn, sympathetic portraits."
Six artists in quest of the exotic. Read full book review >
MARKED FOR DEATH by James Hamilton-Paterson
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Best of all, the author—who has a solid body of fiction to his credit—is a consummate storyteller; not only does the book tell a fascinating story, it is nearly impossible to put down."
World War I was a time of vast changes, notably the development of aerial combat. Here's a look at how it came to be. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF HEAVEN by Andrew Scott Cooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him."
A sympathetic account of the imperial couple of the Peacock Throne portrayed as so blindly benevolent that they did not see the Iranian Revolution coming. Read full book review >
THE GAMES by David Goldblatt
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 26, 2016

"Gracefully written and compellingly argued, this is one of the best books of the year and one of the best sports books ever written."
A tour de force history of the Olympics in romanticized myth and politicized reality. Read full book review >
AND SOON I HEARD A ROARING WIND by Bill Streever
HISTORY
Released: July 26, 2016

"Streever has a knack for blending his research and personal experience into an easy-to-read account that is hard to put down. Recommended for general readers curious about the natural world as well as budding scientists."
Science, history, and personal adventure come together in a wild and witty exploration of wind. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >