History Book Reviews (page 5)

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 >
THEIR LAST FULL MEASURE by Joseph Wheelan
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"Wheelan has combed entire libraries to make this thoroughly readable, lucid survey. Well-practiced buffs will welcome the book, but novices can approach it without much background knowledge, too."
First-rate study of the often overlooked closing months of the Civil War, which, though the impending end was visible, saw some of the fiercest fighting of the conflict. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"A mostly entertaining story of an unconventional family and their shared trait of flouting convention across generations."
The story of renowned diplomat, composer, novelist and painter Lord Gerald Berners and his "cultivated, artistic milieu." Read full book review >
RAVENSBRÜCK by Sarah Helm
HISTORY
Released: March 31, 2015

"Not just another tale of concentration camp terrors, Helm delivers a gripping story of the women who outlasted them and had the strength to share with the author and us 60 years later."
Just when you thought you knew all about the Holocaust camps, Helm (A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII, 2006) chronicles the history of this much-ignored site for women.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >