History Book Reviews (page 7)

RASPUTIN by Douglas Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A tour de force of research from the Russian archives, the book is a deeply detailed, occasionally plodding biography of one of history's most malleable characters."
On the centenary of his death, a vigorous attempt to penetrate the monstrous myths surrounding Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin (1869-1916). Read full book review >
BEAR by Robert Greenfield
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"Essential for Deadheads but also an engaging cultural portrait for anyone interested in the era."
The high life and low times of the original Acid King. Read full book review >

TWENTY-SIX SECONDS by Alexandra Zapruder
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"An intriguing history of one of the most significant home movies ever recorded."
A meticulous history of an iconic home movie and its contentious afterlife. Read full book review >
WONDERLAND by Steven Johnson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's an infectious spirit of delight in the prose, which matches the themes in a book that will engage even those not entirely convinced by its thesis to take a look from a different perspective."
An illumination of how civilization advances through the ways in which it plays. Read full book review >
A MOST IMPROBABLE JOURNEY by Walter Alvarez
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"The science is impeccable, the history a tad simplistic. An Ascent of Man-like approach to the subject of Big History would be most welcome, but this isn't quite it."
Count yourself lucky that you live on a planet with gravity—and silicon. Read full book review >

RETHINK by Steven Poole
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's not much that's new here, but that's the point. A modest, enjoyable look at the care and feeding of creativity."
When seeking inspiration, Guardian columnist Poole (Unspeak: How Words Become Weapons, How Weapons Become a Message, and How that Message Becomes Reality, 2006, etc.) writes, it's not a bad idea to sift through the junk pile for second thoughts. Read full book review >
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE TALKING BOOK by Matthew Rubery
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 14, 2016

"A well-informed but tepid history."
An overview of how the spoken word has been captured on records, tapes, cassettes, and digital devices. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 14, 2016

"A better choice for Southern history buffs than for true-crime junkies."
A little-known massacre is brought to light. Read full book review >
SARAH VALENTINE, NO GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Philip Valentine Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2016

"An absorbing and scathing indictment of 19th-century British government and society that ends on an unexpectedly hopeful note."
This second volume of a trilogy focuses on the life and times of Sarah Valentine, the author's great-great-grandmother, in London. Read full book review >
FAMILY SECRETS by Steven Powers-Chylinski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2016

"An engrossing work about a related group of medieval queens."
A professor, genealogist, and author explores his royal female ancestors. Read full book review >
WHERE MEMORY LEADS by Saul Friedländer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"Though dry in tone, the book is haunting in scope and depth."
A foremost Holocaust scholar carefully reflects on his harsh early years and lifelong academic mission in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Geneva, and Los Angeles. Read full book review >
FRANCE by Jonathan Fenby
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 8, 2016

"A capable history sure to appeal to all lovers of France."
Fenby (Will China Dominate the 21st Century?, 2014, etc.) investigates France's attempts to live up to her revolutionary ideals and how she has become a prisoner of her history and its narratives. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >