History Book Reviews (page 7)

THE INVISIBLES by Jesse J. Holland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A quick, informative history of a lamentable chapter in America's past."
Ten of the first 12 United States presidents were slave masters. Read full book review >
HOME by John S. Allen
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 29, 2015

"Excellent supplementary reading for a variety of college courses, but the book's scope and accessibility make this one for general readers, too."
A neuroanthropologist tackles the questions of how home came to be a central feature of human life and what we mean when we say that we feel at home. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Dec. 18, 2015

"A studious, provocative hodgepodge of history, conspiracy theory, and philosophy that's heavier on vitriol than veritas."
Debut author Divjak attempts to rebut Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2015 prizewinning memoir Between the World and Me.Read full book review >
EISENHOWER'S ARMIES by Niall Barr
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A detailed, entertaining history of a successful, if bumpy, military alliance."
Anglo-American cooperation during World War II worked, more or less. Read full book review >
RICHARD III by David Horspool
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Among the better histories on this subject, this book rocks no boats while delivering a densely detailed account of a man who was no more villainous than the average 15th-century baron."
Richard III's villainy owes much to Shakespeare. Modern histories are more understanding, and this includes this thoughtful biography by Times Literary Supplement history editor Horspool (Alfred the Great, 2014, etc.), who stresses that Richard (1452-1485) was a man of his times, although they were nasty times.Read full book review >

AGINCOURT by Ranulph Fiennes
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"Fiennes does his ancestors justice with this fascinating and immensely readable narrative of Agincourt."
A personal history commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt by a direct descendant of nobility who fought on both sides of the battle. Read full book review >
THIS DIVIDED ISLAND by Samanth Subramanian
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 2015

"A highly readable and powerful account of an oft-ignored struggle and the lives it came to shatter."
In the wake of a 30-year guerrilla war, New Delhi-based journalist Subramanian (Following Fish: Travels Around the Indian Coast, 2012, etc.) explores the root causes and human cost of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.Read full book review >
QUEEN VICTORIA'S MYSTERIOUS DAUGHTER by Lucinda Hawksley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"Hawksley conveys Louise's story fully and clearly, but just as importantly, she shows the devastating damage Queen Victoria inflicted on her extensive family."
Hawksley (March, Women, March: Voices of the Women's Movement from the First Feminist to Votes for Women, 2013, etc.) does a yeoman's service providing an illuminating biography of Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Louise (1848-1939).Read full book review >
THE DAWNING MOON OF THE MIND by Susan Brind Morrow
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"An erudite investigation that rewards patient, careful reading."
Ancient Egyptian philosophy revealed in a hieroglyphic text. Read full book review >
FOOLS, FRAUDS AND FIREBRANDS by Roger Scruton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"Caustic, highly recherché, and simply great fun to read for the questing intellectual soul."
Prickly and terrifically entertaining skewering of the left's darling male thinkers—both European and American, from Sartre to Said. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"Engrossing and authoritative, McDonnell's rich history is academic in nature but welcoming to lay readers."
A history of the Native American tribes that inhabited the Great Lakes region during early American colonization. Read full book review >
THE SECRET TEACHERS OF THE WESTERN WORLD by Gary Lachman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"A sharp, engrossing book for open-minded readers."
A writer on esoteric and occult subjects looks at the people who influenced Western thought through theories of a "living, intelligent universe through which [individuals] could participate through…[the] imagination." 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 >