History Book Reviews (page 6)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"An entertaining retelling of a forgotten story, written for political junkies who enjoy the naughty and the nice."
A journalist and the CEO of an education advisory company unite to tell the story of the famous first cousins who occupied very different positions on the continuum of political belief. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 2015

"Generally sympathetic to its subject and well-written but to be consulted only after William Kahrl's Water and Power (1982) and Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert (1986)."
Dutiful story of a man who, not having finished high school, "let alone set foot in an engineering class," designed a metropolitan water system that is still in use today. Read full book review >

RESCUE AT LOS BAÑOS by Bruce Henderson
HISTORY
Released: March 31, 2015

"A dramatic story of bravery in which individual personal accounts converge with the waging of war for a riveting history."
Before the colors fade and history replaces memory, Henderson (Hero Found: The Greatest POW Escape of the Vietnam War, 2010, etc.) lucidly narrates a World War II story of captured civilians and their resolute rescuers.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An impressive debut offering explanations based on coherence between people, cases and the events they adjudicated."
Center for American Progress senior constitutional policy analyst Millhiser assesses the damage caused by the Supreme Court to the Constitution, government and the citizens whose rights have repeatedly been curtailed or abrogated in arbitrary, capricious, bigoted and arrogant proceedings. Read full book review >
THE PORCELAIN THIEF by Huan Hsu
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 24, 2015

"Some first-rate detective work sometimes obscured by excessively thick historical shrubbery."
A former journalist and current professor searches for the rare porcelain buried by his great-great-grandfather in 1938, when Japanese invaders approached his property in Xingang, China. Read full book review >

FOOD & COOKING
Released: March 24, 2015

"A fine addition to the single-issue science genre."
"From tropical rain forests to alpine meadows and arctic tundra, seed plants dominate landscapes and define ecosystems." In fact, they make up more than 90 percent of land flora. Read full book review >
BOSWELL'S ENLIGHTENMENT by Robert Zaretsky
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This wonderful rendering of Boswell digs deep into his probing, enquiring life and the fast friends he made at every turn."
James Boswell (1740-1795) comes to life in Zaretsky's (French History/Univ. of Houston; A Life Worth Living: Albert Camus and the Quest for Meaning, 2013) recounting of his European grand tour in the mid-18th-century.Read full book review >
GALILEO'S TELESCOPE by Massimo Bucciantini
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 23, 2015

"This erudite work will take some effort to follow and understand, but it's well-worth the effort for a glimpse into the world-shattering effect of the birth of the telescope."
Italian professors of the history of science Bucciantini (Univ. of Siena), Camerota (Univ. of Cagliari) and Giudice (Univ. of Bergamo) explore the geographical dispersion of the telescope and the radical change its "new sky" produced. Read full book review >
COUNTRY SOUL by Charles L. Hughes
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: March 23, 2015

"An essential piece of Southern musical history."
Exploration of the racial politics that defined the country and soul music scenes during the 1960s and '70s. Read full book review >
LINCOLN AND THE JEWS by Jonathan D. Sarna
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Sarna and manuscript collector Shapell offer a vivid, fresh perspective on Lincoln's life and times."
A noted historian asks new questions about Abraham Lincoln. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: March 17, 2015

"Readers need not be fashion mavens to enjoy this entertaining episode of history, enhanced by Givhan's effortless ability to illustrate the models and designers (particularly Lambert) who changed how we dress."
On Nov. 28, 1973, Parisian haute couture faced off against the upstart American designers, and the Americans blew them away. In her debut book, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post fashion critic Givhan delivers a delightful, encyclopedic exploration of the players and leaders in the field.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Swollen with a daughter's pride but also full of gripping detail."
The daughter of Kenneth O'Donnell, a principal adviser to John F. Kennedy, discusses the strategies, successes and failures that led to JFK's becoming the 35th president. 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 >