History Book Reviews (page 2)

LENS OF WAR by J. Matthew Gallman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant starting point for truly understanding the Civil War. As the authors point out, there is still much to explore."
A pictorial guide to the changes in our historical views of the Civil War, curated by Gallman (History/Univ. of Florida; Northerners at War, 2010, etc.) and Gallagher (History/Univ. of Virginia; The Union War, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
SHOCKING PARIS by Stanley Meisler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Meisler throws new light on Soutine and, more broadly, on the experiences of aspiring immigrant artists in the city that fostered their dreams."
The story of immigrant artists who were celebrated as the School of Paris. Read full book review >

MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Halpern ably explores the clashing personalities and worldviews that had physics in churning ferment during the early part of the 20th century."
The history of a grand theory—the theory of everything, aka the unified field theory—that never achieved flight and the two household names that kicked the fledgling theory from the nest before its time. Read full book review >
FRACTURE by Philipp Blom
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"A book to be absorbed, marveled at and admired for the wide range of research linking events and thoughts."
Blom (A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment, 2010, etc.) undertakes a massive work explaining the changes that took place in the years between the world wars.Read full book review >

FIRST LADIES by Susan Swain
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though presented in a stilted fashion, all the portraits are rendered with sympathy and detail."
Selections from the popular yearlong C-SPAN series exploring the lives of the first ladies, each offering conversational, somewhat truncated viewpoints by various historians. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"As ambitious as our perennial desire to discover the road less traveled, as expressionistic as Pollock's action paintings, and as poetically driven as the Beat generation, this book is equal parts mystery, journalism, poetry and bildungsroman, ultimately in search of its own American voice."
Imagine taking a road trip through Iowa with a chatty Jack Kerouac in the passenger seat and Dwight D. Eisenhower sitting impatiently beside a disinterested Jackson Pollock in the back seat. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A mostly engaging mix of World War II history, Greek mythology, endurance training and spiritual self-help that doesn't always cohere."
A book beyond category attempts to engage readers on a number of levels. Read full book review >
THE LAW OF THE LAND by Akhil Reed Amar
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"A provocative, consistently interesting take on our constitutional history."
In the third volume of a series that assesses the Constitution from varying perspectives, a law professor approaches the document geographically, examining it through the prism of the states. Read full book review >
THE INTIMATE BOND by Brian Fagan
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though reminding us of the cruelties still visited upon animals and insisting that we respect them anew—not merely as pets or idealized creatures of the wild—Fagan offers no resolutions to our conflicting attitudes toward them, but his compelling, cohesive book calls for further enlightenment."
Fagan (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara; The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, 2013, etc.) brings consummate skill to this frequently horrifying study of humanity's interaction with animals.Read full book review >
THE CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY by Michael F. Patton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"A fun, clear and clever introduction to the rich history of philosophy in the Western world."
An obscure, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher takes readers down the long river of philosophy, explaining movements, theories, breakthroughs and ethics with the help of a few special guest stars. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"A footnote to modern theoretical physics and the history of science. Readers may prefer the bigger picture provided by John Cornwell's Hitler's Scientists (2003) and the better-written works on Einstein by Walter Isaacson and Alan Lightman, among others."
History of the clash between "German" and "Jewish" physics in the early decades of the last century. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Mona Eltahawy
April 28, 2015

In her debut book, Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Mona Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Born in Egypt, she spent her childhood in London, moving with her family to Saudi Arabia when she was 15. Her shock was immediate and visceral: “It felt as though we’d moved to another planet whose inhabitants fervently wished women did not exist,” she recalls. Women could not travel, work or even go to a doctor’s appointment without male approval. We talk to Eltahawy this week on Kirkus TV about her arresting new book. View video >