History Book Reviews (page 2)

1917 by Arthur Herman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 28, 2017

"Mixing both real events and a few moments of speculation, a fine account of a climacteric year."
Dual biography of two men who stand in this account as avatars of worldwide change in a critical historical moment. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 22, 2017

"On the dry side but with provocative suggestions for how to revive democratic practices through citizen action and institutional reform alike."
Gridlock, inaction, inequality: is it any wonder that democracy seems an endangered species in the U.S. and elsewhere? Read full book review >

PRAIRIE FIRES by Caroline Fraser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"A vivid portrait of frontier life and one of its most ardent celebrants."
A sensitive biography of the author of Little House on the Prairie. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Maddox's investigation lacks the dazzling heft of John McPhee's Annals of the Former World (1998), but it makes for a gentle introduction to early modern natural history, one of the last eras in which a gentleman (or gentlewoman) scholar might ever hope to have a solid grasp of every branch of science."
The word "scientist" is Georgian, but the scientific habit of mind is Victorian—and quite British, as this popular history ably shows. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"A sturdy but narrowly focused tale of American history."
A family's history reveals the roots of America's "capitalist ethos." Read full book review >

RAMP HOLLOW by Steven Stoll
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"Which is better, cornfields or clean coal? Stoll's sharp book complicates our understanding of a much-misunderstood, much-maligned region that deserves better than it has received."
A searching economic and political history of a dispossessed, impoverished Appalachia that progress has long eluded. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 17, 2017

"Readers will share Emery's lack of nostalgia for this half-forgotten weapon, but they will admire this satisfying combination of technical background, battlefield fireworks, biographies of colorful major figures, and personal anecdotes from individual soldiers."
An illumination of the "little understood and…poorly documented" story of a significant piece of the "history of chemical warfare in the United States." Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A little harsh here, a little overstated there, but all in all a fascinating, well-researched look at the many ways Americans hoodwink each other, often about race."
Is flimflammery, like jazz, a pure product of America? So wonders New Yorker poetry editor Young (Blues Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, 2016, etc.), adding another Americanism to the mix: Jim Crow. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A sparklingly intelligent and well-researched cultural history."
A New-York Historical Society historian examines the impact of 20th-century newspaper columnist and women's self-help guru Marjorie Hillis (1889-1971). Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"For fans of the stage, this is a pleasant peek behind the scenes during a transformative period of British theater history."
A celebrated director shares his memories from his years as the head of one of the world's most famous theater companies. Read full book review >
THE GIFTED GENERATION by David Goldfield
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"An American history that serves as a heartfelt plea for a revival of socially responsible leadership."
For two decades after World War II, government actually strived to provide basic needs and equal opportunity for all Americans. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Recommended for fans of imperial histories, royal scandals, or tragic romances."
A study of the many mysteries surrounding the death of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary and his mistress. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >