History Book Reviews (page 6)

LET THE PEOPLE RULE by Geoffrey Cowan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"Political junkies will delight in this rollicking history containing lessons applicable to our contemporary political landscape."
The history of the 1912 battle among Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Robert La Follette for the presidency of the United States, which gave birth to the first presidential primary. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"An unusual and vastly entertaining journey into the world of mysterious plant life as experienced by a gifted nature writer."
A prolific and talented British nature writer explores 40 plant species and how they have influenced the human imagination over the centuries. Read full book review >

PRIMO LEVI'S RESISTANCE by Sergio Luzzatto
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A book for Levi completists and students of the Italian Resistance. Luzzatto provides a decent picture of the Italian character, the wide variance of political parties, and the dedication of the people to their country."
Luzzatto (History/Univ. of Turin; Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age, 2010, etc.) combines his obsessions with Primo Levi (1919-1987) and the Italian Resistance.Read full book review >
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S JOURNEY by T.H. Breen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An unconvincing attempt to read extraneous political agendas into the first president's fact-finding tours."
An examination of the first presidential road trips. Read full book review >
COSMOSAPIENS by John Hands
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A compendious work that will intrigue serious readers; others may find it overlong and too comprehensive."
Hands has spent the last 10 years assembling a critical overview of scientific orthodoxy in an attempt to answer the fundamental questions "what are we?" and "why are we here?" Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Will appeal especially to anyone interested in Mulholland and western water issues."
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Wilkman (Los Angeles: A Pictorial Celebration, 2008, etc.) offers a well-researched account of a little-remembered California tragedy.Read full book review >
THE THREE BATTLES OF WANAT by Mark Bowden
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Readers of Bowden's work are assured of honest, straightforward, painstakingly researched essays."
Collected magazine articles and essays by wide-ranging journalist Bowden (Writer in Residence/Univ. of Delaware; The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A beautifully rendered work wrought with enormous care and sense of compassionate dignity."
An intimately detailed look at the agony of a Japanese-American family struggling to maintain American loyalty amid discrimination and war. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Organizers will find much of this helpful and instructive, but for lay readers, it preaches to the choir."
A radical activist handbook reinforces the adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Prothero brilliantly shows how the same groups drive conflicts year after year and often lose—and how the results eventually make us stronger. Useful, instructive reading for all voters in the upcoming election year."
Prothero (Religion/Boston Univ.; The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation, 2012, etc.) gives hope to liberals who think conservatives are taking over.Read full book review >
THE DEEP STATE by Mike Lofgren
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Mostly intriguing in its historical analysis but lacking in useful countermeasures or solutions."
An insider's account of the "secret and unaccountable shadow government" that really runs the country. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A ghastly, dizzying descent into the coldblooded clannishness of the Southern racist mindset."
A dogged pursuit takes a journalist into uncomfortable corners of her Southern family's complicity in a small-town lynching. 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 >