History Book Reviews (page 4)

THE WHITE ROAD by Edmund de Waal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"De Waal's poetically recounted journey is a revelation, as well: of the power of obsession and the lust for purity."
A lyrical melding of art history, memoir, and philosophical meditation. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Essential reading for anyone interested in World War II."
Award-winning military historian Beevor (The Second World War, 2012, etc.) examines the Battle of the Bulge in-depth, with a detailed order of battle for all the combatants, a full array of maps, and extensive quotations from original sources, including secretly taped comments by German officers in British POW camps.Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 2, 2015

"Rather than a nostalgic lament, this revelatory book celebrates an indelible cultural imprint."
An illuminating stroll through the decades of one of the most culturally significant streets in America. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Winchester's passionate research—on sea and land—undergirds this superb analysis of a world wonder that we seem hellbent on damaging."
The preternaturally curious writer about everything from the Oxford English Dictionary to volcanoes to the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, 2010, etc.) returns with a series of high-resolution literary snapshots of the Pacific Ocean.Read full book review >
CLEMENTINE by Sonia Purnell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A riveting, illuminating life of a remarkable woman."
The biography of Winston Churchill's unfailing champion. Read full book review >

THE ENGLISH AND THEIR HISTORY by Robert Tombs
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"European history buffs and readers undaunted by a 1,000-page history will find a lucid, engaging, and pleasantly nondidactic book, with helpful maps."
A massive yet accessible study of the historical and linguistic continuity that make up the English people. Read full book review >
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT by Roger Daniels
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 15, 2015

"Finely delineated history, authoritative and skillfully fashioned."
A vigorous, thorough examination of the New Deal programs, pinpointing Franklin Roosevelt's successes and failures and much improvisation. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Superb scholarship and a sprightly style recover an unaccountably overlooked life in our history."
A specialist in African-American history pieces together the remarkable career of an antebellum Wall Street broker who was married to a white woman, ambitious, ruthless, successful, and black: in short, "a racist's nightmare come to life." Read full book review >
DOOMED TO SUCCEED by Dennis Ross
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Ross provides a learned, wise template for understanding the long-term relationship between two countries tethered to one another out of shared self-interest and geopolitical necessity and yet with sometimes-conflicting senses of the way forward."
A history of the sometimes-fraught, occasionally tense, but always essential relationship between the United States and Israel. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Washington, D.C., regulars may know some of this information, and foreign nations certainly do, but all engaged American citizens should read this book and have their eyes opened."
Former Salon founding editor-in-chief Talbot (Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, 2012, etc.) shares his extensive knowledge and intense investigations of American politics with a frightening biography of power, manipulation, and outright treason.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A lifetime of scholarship and an elegant pen combine for an outstanding read."
A distinguished legal historian looks at how dissents have influenced our understanding of the Constitution. Read full book review >
THE END OF THE COLD WAR by Robert Service
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wholly satisfying, likely definitive, but not triumphalist account of the end of an era."
In this thoughtful re-evaluation of a stunning historical watershed, British Soviet specialist Service (Emeritus, Russian History/Univ. of Oxford; Trotsky, 2009, etc.) concentrates on the political maneuvering that was Byzantine and often wrongheaded but rarely dull.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 >