History Book Reviews (page 4)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"Between the dizzying sums lost and gained, Zacks offers a rollicking history perfect for Twain's countless fans."
An amusing, singular account of the world tour by the nation's most famous humorist, chased by creditors. Read full book review >
GHETTO by Mitchell Duneier
HISTORY
Released: April 19, 2016

"Americans did not create the ghetto, but in this well-documented study, we see clearly how those urban areas have come to embody so many of our shortcomings when it comes to matters of race."
How communities—especially in the United States—created, ostracized, and condemned the idea and reality of the ghetto. Read full book review >

THE MATHEWS MEN by William Geroux
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A deep, compassionate group biography of these 'unsung heroes' of the Merchant Marines."
An intricate look at the outsized role of a group of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, families in the dangerous work of the Merchant Marines during World War II. Read full book review >
PANIC AT THE PUMP by Meg Jacobs
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A readable and neatly paced examination of recent history that sheds light on even more recent events."
Political economist Jacobs (Woodrow Wilson Center/Princeton Univ.; Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, 2005, etc.) considers the effects of the 1970s OPEC embargoes on subsequent politics.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"For space aficionados especially but also a good choice for general readers seeking an introduction to an underappreciated, thrilling chapter in aerospace history."
An aviation historian revisits the conception, development, and inaugural flight of "the last American flying machine built to fly higher and faster than everything that had come before." Read full book review >

BRILLIANT BEACONS by Eric Jay Dolin
HISTORY
Released: April 18, 2016

"A delightful journey with excellent sketches, renderings, and resources for museums and organizations."
A fine history of lighthouses, "among the most beloved and romanticized structures in the American landscape." Read full book review >
CONGRESS, PRESIDENTS, AND AMERICAN POLITICS by Lee H. Hamilton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 18, 2016

"The book—essentially an encapsulation of the author's philosophy of politics and politicians—is a good choice for those who want to believe in government again."
A U.S. Representative from Indiana for 34 years reviews the best of the commentaries he sent to his constituents during his years in office. Read full book review >
THE PRAGMATIC SUPERPOWER by Ray Takeyh
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 2016

"Contestable yet compelling arguments regarding the state of the 'precarious…global scene' following World War II."
A singular take on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East from World War II to the Gulf War demonstrates how a kind of accidental success was achieved by isolating the Soviet Union and avoiding prolonged U.S. entanglements. Read full book review >
THE EMPRESS OF ART by Susan Jaques
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2016

"An intriguing biography of a ruler whose ruthlessness encompassed art."
The self-aggrandizing Catherine II (1729-1796) was an obsessive, voracious collector. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 15, 2016

"An engaging travelogue that provides a good example of how one person tirelessly pursued his dream to fruition."
A parallel narrative of French explorer René-Robert Cavelier La Salle's 1680s trek to the mouth of the Mississippi River and an intrepid 1976 journey by a group of Midwestern youth. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2016

"An elegant, astute study that is both readable and thematically rich."
A portrait of Thomas Jefferson's passionate belief in Enlightenment values and how it determined his personal character and that of the young nation. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"As fascinated as Snare with the portrait, Cumming has fashioned an absorbing mystery."
A true tale that demonstrates the power and seduction of art. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 6, 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 >