History Book Reviews (page 2)

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Thomas Fleming
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2015

"Among historians, Jefferson's star has been falling for 50 years. Fleming's frank hostility puts him at the far end of the scale, but he makes a fascinating case that Jefferson's charisma—which peaked early with the Declaration of Independence—was accompanied by fanciful political beliefs that continue to exert a malign influence on the office of the presidency."
The camaraderie among America's Founding Fathers did not survive independence in 1783. Disagreement over the role of government grew into virulent antagonism, and that acrimony persists today. Prolific historian Fleming (A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War, 2013, etc.) delivers a vivid, opinionated history of this conflict.Read full book review >
A GREAT AND TERRIBLE KING by Marc Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2015

"An elucidating though occasionally long-winded biography."
Richly contextual treatment of a pivotal Medieval English monarch who consolidated the British Isles, but at violent cost and future retribution. Read full book review >

DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"An intriguing, entirely engrossing investigation into a legendary disaster. Compared to Greg King and Penny Wilson's Lusitania (2014), also publishing to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking, Larson's is the superior account."
Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, 2011, etc.) once again demonstrates his expert researching skills and writing abilities, this time shedding light on nagging questions about the sinking of the Lusitania on May 7, 1915.Read full book review >
RUST by Jonathan Waldman
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Waldman is a bright and curious companion in this lively adventure in search of the scourge of rust and its ingenious opponents."
How the world turns to rust. Read full book review >
CHASING LOST TIME by Jean Findlay
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Findlay employs a vast family archive to bring this little-known writer to the fame he justly deserves, making readers want to turn back to Proust."
C.K. Scott Moncrieff (1889-1930) was a poet, war hero, spy and, above all, one of the world's greatest translators. Journalist Findlay reveals his natural, effortless writing talent in this story of her great-great uncle. Read full book review >

THE CHINA COLLECTORS by Karl E. Meyer
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Assiduous research underlies a text that will appeal principally to art historians and devotees of Asian art."
Two journalists explore the allure of Asian art for museum directors, collectors, archaeologists and others. Read full book review >
THE FALL OF THE OTTOMANS by Eugene Rogan
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"An illuminating work that offers new understanding to the troubled history of this key geopolitical region."
Rogan (Modern History of the Middle East/St. Antony's Coll., Oxford Univ.; The Arabs: A History, 2009, etc.) corrects Western assumptions about the "sick man of Europe."Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Let us be grateful that there are writers like Dreger who have the wits and the guts to fight for truth."
Dreger (Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics/Northwestern Univ.; One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal, 2004, etc.) passionately investigates character assassinations in academia and how "[s]cience and social justice require each other to be healthy, and both are critically important to human freedom."Read full book review >
COINED by Kabir Sehgal
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A lively account with an unconventional viewpoint."
Sehgal (Jazzocracy: Jazz, Democracy, and the Creation of a New American Mythology, 2008, etc.), a vice president for emerging market equities at J.P Morgan, opens up the toolbox of his trade in this wide-ranging discussion of money and its instrumental function through human history.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Morton insists that Edward never really wanted to be king and implies that Simpson never wanted to marry him. A better book would begin in Spain and focus on the damning papers, saving readers all the silly bits and innuendo of Simpson's affairs."
Morton (William & Catherine: Their Story, 2011, etc.) takes a break from his unauthorized biographies of the rich and famous to dig into the archives regarding the incompetent King Edward VIII and his American wife, Wallis Simpson.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A lively tale of monarchical machinations, more familiar to American readers since The King's Speech."
A spirited historical lesson that traces how the fallout from the abdication crisis of Edward VIII in 1936 ultimately aided England in its finest hour. Read full book review >
AMERICAN VANDAL by Roy Morris Jr.
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"A brisk narrative and sensitive insights make this book a delight."
The story of the beloved American novelist's nearly 12 years abroad. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >