History Book Reviews (page 3)

ONE CHILD by Mei Fong
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Finished just before the announcement of the policy's demise, One Child is a touching and captivating anthropological investigation of one of the most invasive laws ever devised."
Widespread female infanticide and officials jailing pregnant women's families to induce them to surrender to abortions—these are scenes not from a dystopian novel but from China's family planning bureaucracy. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A moving memoir, if an earnest footnote to the history of the Third Reich."
A history of the Nazi eugenics program, which involved hundreds of thousands of children, including the author herself. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Fascinating reading about a significant artistic figure and his legacy."
A documentary producer's memoir of the unexpected lessons he learned from a church caretaker about faith, the human condition, and the Italian painter Caravaggio. Read full book review >
THE NEW DEAL by Kiran Klaus Patel
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"This book provides much to study and reread. Though mostly well-written, the narrative is factually dense, intense, and often verbose. It should be useful to economists, researchers, and specialists in the Depression and its aftermath."
A deep, scholarly dive into the New Deal and how it relates to the world's attempts to deal with what he calls the "Great Slump." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A brisk, lighthearted travelogue with an exuberant guide."
What dead American presidents reveal "about ourselves, our history, and how we imagine our past and future." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Although the author's meticulous reconstruction of the case sometimes leads to repetition, she succeeds in conveying the unsettled world in which it occurred."
A sordid murder reveals beliefs about race, sex, and justice in post-Civil War Philadelphia. Read full book review >
THE LIVES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Robert S. Levine
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An astute, thorough literary study that will invite fresh readings of Douglass' writing."
A compelling scholarly study of the evolution of Frederick Douglass' thinking. Read full book review >
STOLEN WORDS by Mark Glickman
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"The text is approachable and the material is invaluable. The written word prevails."
The odyssey of Jewish books in the wake of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Accessible and of interest to students of international relations but mostly intended for military historians and Asia specialists."
A vigorous military history of China, linking technological changes to political events over time. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A deeply researched and nicely handled biography."
A study of the Founding Father encapsulating some of the early American values of industry, parsimony, and prudence. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Quigley's narrative of Terrell and her court case is especially relevant in the wake of numerous well-publicized killings of black citizens by police officers and the latest wave of black activism."
A retelling of the events leading up to the landmark civil rights Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., which invalidated segregated restaurants in the city in 1953.Read full book review >
1916 by Keith Jeffery
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A brilliant compendium of everything-you-didn't-know-about World War I, which, for many readers, will be a great deal."
A World War I-focused history of 1916, when "all the major belligerents…stepped up to regulate domestic manpower and mobilize all sectors of the community behind the war." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >