History Book Reviews (page 5)

NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 2017

"Careful, pointed writing shows us that professional sports should not be viewed in isolation from the society in which they function."
As social change roiled through the 1960s, Major League Baseball was sometimes a mirror, sometimes a window. Read full book review >
EVERYBODY HAD AN OCEAN by William McKeen
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 2017

"Excellent social history, bracketing David Talbot's Season of the Witch (2012) as an indispensable account of a time of beauty and terror."
Searching account of 1960s Southern California, when the wistful innocence of the Beach Boys died alongside the victims of Charles Manson. Read full book review >

MIGRANT, REFUGEE, SMUGGLER, SAVIOR by Peter Tinti
NON-FICTION
Released: April 1, 2017

"Sobering reading but of great interest to those seeking context for so many recent headlines."
Advocacy journalism in the service of the refugees, most from Africa and the Middle East, who are now flooding Europe. Read full book review >
30 DAYS A BLACK MAN by Bill Steigerwald
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 2017

"Sprigle's audacity was forgotten, but Steigerwald turns it into rollicking, haunting American history."
Fascinating account of an anti-Jim Crow muckraking adventure. Read full book review >
ALGER HISS by Joan Brady
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"If you're inclined to disbelieve the official record, Brady's book, less than definitive but more than circumstantial, will confirm your view."
Britain-based American novelist Brady (The Blue Death, 2012, etc.) offers an unusual perspective on Alger Hiss (1904-1996), the aristocrat reduced to traveling salesman. Read full book review >

RICHARD NIXON by John A. Farrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Full of fresh, endlessly revealing insights into Nixon's political career, less on the matter of his character, refreshingly, than on the events that accompanied and resulted from it."
A sturdy study of the man ranked at the bottom of many historians' lists of presidents. Read full book review >
I, WHO DID NOT DIE by Zahed Haftlang
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Despite the unrelenting passages of human suffering, the authors offer a fascinating—and ultimately uplifting—exploration of cultures unknown to many readers."
The story of an Iraqi and an Iranian who became "as close as real brothers, with blended families and shared histories." Read full book review >
LENIN ON THE TRAIN by Catherine Merridale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"A superbly written narrative history that draws together and makes sense of scattered data, anecdotes, and minor episodes, affording us a bigger picture of events that we now understand to be transformative."
British historian Merridale (Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin, 2013, etc.) fills a lacuna in the canonical record of Soviet communism. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: March 28, 2017

"The occultly inclined will be duly enchanted. The materialists—well, not so much."
Jacobsen (The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency, 2015, etc.) journeys into the realm where the paranormal and the bureaucratic meet. Read full book review >
THE FIRST LOVE STORY by Bruce Feiler
NON-FICTION
Released: March 21, 2017

"Despite the sometimes-exhausting repetition, Feiler provides a fascinating look at why Adam and Eve matter in understanding couples today."
Feiler (The Secrets of Happy Families, 2013, etc.) examines the saga of the first romantic couple in an intellectual exploration that could have been titled "A Thousand Ways of Looking at Adam and Eve." Read full book review >
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND by George Prochnik
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 21, 2017

"An uneven but candid testament of two men passionately trying to revive and reimagine Judaism."
A convert to Judaism was deeply influenced by a prolific Jewish intellectual. Read full book review >
IKE AND MCCARTHY by David A. Nichols
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 21, 2017

"A thorough, well-written, and surprising picture of a man who was much more than a 'do-nothing' president."
New insight into Dwight Eisenhower's silent methods of facing down enemies, particularly Joseph McCarthy. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >