History Book Reviews (page 2)

HISTORY
Released: May 2, 2016

"An important book that not only shows how the slave trade operated, but also provides a clearer picture of the victims' origins, language, and methods of survival."
A history of how captives purchased in Africa for transport on the slave ship Hare managed to maintain a community after being sold into slavery.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 2, 2016

"A thoughtful historical study of the entrenched symbolism of a dreaded bridge in Mississippi, a landmark that 'fixed attention on Jim Crow's brutal excesses and unresolved legacies.'"
History of the most notorious sites in Mississippi for white-on-black violence, from 1918 to 1966. Read full book review >

TRACK CHANGES by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 2, 2016

"Materiality, information, and absence: as Kirschenbaum rightly notes, literature is 'different after word processing,' and so is literary history. He makes a solid start in showing how."
A learned and lively study of the sometimes-uneasy fit between writing on a computer and writing generally. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2016

"A lively history of one man's indelible imprint on American news."
The peripatetic life of a newspaper mogul. Read full book review >
THE CASTAWAY'S WAR by Stephen Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2016

"An amazing journey through adversity and desperation."
A suspenseful recounting of the torpedoing of the USS Strong in the South Pacific in July 1943 and one soldier's subsequent eluding of capture on the Japanese-held Solomon Islands.Read full book review >

HOW ENGLISH BECAME ENGLISH by Simon Horobin
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 1, 2016

"A happy mixture of scholarship, clear writing, and humor."
A linguistics scholar glances at the history of the English language and takes on some contentious contemporary issues—from "fewer" and "less" to the relationship between language and social status. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2016

"A spirited look at the business and impact of delivering mail."
How America got mail. Read full book review >
COMRADE HUPPERT by George Huppert
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2016

"Of interest to scholars of Austrian literature and history but not to a general reading audience."
The troubled life of Hugo Huppert (1902-1982), a respected but largely forgotten Austrian writer and communist. Read full book review >
UNEQUAL GAINS by Peter H. Lindert
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 1, 2016

"Some familiarity with economic principles will benefit readers, but its conclusions are both accessible and urgent."
A long-view look at a problem that has been vexing economists and policymakers lately—namely, financial and social inequality. Read full book review >
ISIS by Fawaz A. Gerges
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A specific, timely, well-rendered exegesis of the unfolding global threat."
A thorough survey of the genesis of the Islamic State, from al-Qaida wannabe to lethal caliphate. Read full book review >
MUSIC IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY by James Wierzbicki
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 30, 2016

"An ambitious yet frustrating account of music in an era that has much in common with our own."
A musicologist looks at the music of the 1950 as it relates to currents in American society as a whole. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 26, 2016

"A brisk and entertaining historical narrative."
American politics revealed through the lives of two indelible figures. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 5, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >