History Book Reviews (page 4)

THE STORY by Judith Miller
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2015

"Miller might possess just cause, but one-sided, bitter accounts of her disputes feel unworthy of a talented journalist."
Miller (God Has Ninety-Nine Names: Reporting From a Militant Middle East, 1997, etc.) offers her account of her ignominious departure from the New York Times in 2005 due to her allegedly inaccurate coverage about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Read full book review >
FORTUNE'S FOOL by Terry Alford
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 2, 2015

"Alford paints some intriguing shades of gray in this elucidating portrait."
The "first full-length biography" of Abraham Lincoln's assassin offers much nuance and complexity to the killer, bordering on the downright sympathetic. Read full book review >

WATERLOO by Alan Forrest
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"A modest but valuable addition to a vast genre."
Despite the title, this book is less about the battle than its legacy. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A curious portrait of a celebrity nonentity caught up in the throes of history."
Martelle (The Admiral and the Ambassador: One Man's Obsessive Search for the Body of John Paul Jones, 2014, etc.) explores the troubled life of a key yet little-known character in the Abraham Lincoln assassination drama.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"This lightweight book is all about the dog, and, though more entertaining than the allegorical ALDD might be, it remains Lincoln-lite."
Yet another trickle in the constant flood of Lincolniana, this book reports on the qualities of the quadruped that filled the job of Lincoln family dog. Read full book review >

SPRING 1865 by Perry D. Jamieson
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"The true value of this book is Jamieson's in-depth portrayal of the armies and their leaders, heroes and fools as they struggled to the bitter end."
The last few months of the Civil War demonstrate just how much it was a "lost cause" for the South. In the latest installment of the Great Campaigns of the Civil War series, Air Force senior historian emeritus Jamieson (Khobar Towers: Tragedy and Response, 2008, etc.) recounts the last battles, skirmishes and attempts at peace.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"Identifying the Ottomans' decisive choices, Suny creates a compelling narrative of vengeance and terror."
An authoritative examination of unspeakable horrors. Read full book review >
LINCOLN'S LAST SPEECH by Louis P. Masur
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"A concise, useful analysis of Lincoln's generous hope for postwar America, seen against the failures of the actual Reconstruction that followed."
Historian Masur (American Studies/Rutgers Univ.; The Civil War: A Concise History, 2011, etc.) explores Abraham Lincoln's views on national reconciliation.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2015

"McMichael ably leads readers to the conclusion that, in this case, no one's hands were clean."
Journalist McMichael reveals far-reaching deceptions in his examination of coverups in the case of James Earl Ray (1928-1998), accused of killing Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis in 1968. Read full book review >
FORAGERS, FARMERS, AND FOSSIL FUELS by Ian Morris
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"In the hands of this talented writer and thinker, this potentially dry material becomes an engaging intellectual adventure, fully accessible to the generalist, as it ranges across millennia and disciplines including classical history, sociology, and moral and political philosophy."
A provocative explanation for the evolution and divergence of ethical values. Read full book review >
BEALE STREET DYNASTY by Preston Lauterbach
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 1, 2015

"Beale Street is mostly a tourist trap now, but it was a place of 'whorehouses, saloons, and bullet holes' not so long ago. By Lauterbach's illuminating account, the past was more fun—or at least more interesting."
Excellent study of an iconic Southern place and the fraught, violent history behind it. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"To be read as both corrective and supplement to Foucault, Szasz, and Rieff. Often brilliant and always luminous and rewarding."
Far-ranging, illuminating study of minds gone awry across space and time. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >