History Book Reviews (page 7)

MARGARET THATCHER by Charles Moore
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Moore will probably not change minds about the Iron Lady, but readers inclined to be as fair-minded as he will find much of interest in his account of her years in power."
British historian/writer Moore delivers the second volume in his authorized biography of the pioneering—and divisive—prime minister. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Duffy's portrait of the South Pacific is an entertaining and well-researched war history that will satisfy intrigued novices and devoted students alike."
A history of the battle for the island of New Guinea during World War II. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 4, 2016

"A passionate, intensely engaging portrait of the group's initial mission, as well as the terrible personal lifelong toll the struggle took."
A new look at the injustice visited on a group of African-American high school students engaged in the battle for desegregation in the public schools. Read full book review >
JOHN BIRCH by Terry Lautz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 4, 2016

"A useful work that elucidates both the U.S. role in China and some elements of the contemporary conservative mindset."
A serious probe into the life of the Baptist missionary to China who posthumously (and thus unwittingly) served as the right wing's poster child. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 4, 2016

"A groundbreaking academic study that shows how Germany derived from the Armenian genocide 'a plethora of recipes' to address its own ethnic problems."
This scholarly study reveals how the Germans "received" the events of the Armenian genocide—and later whitewashed and even found motivation from it. Read full book review >

WHEN HITLER TOOK COCAINE AND LENIN LOST HIS BRAIN by Giles Milton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"A few chapters will elicit a response of 'so what?' But there's enough adventure, gore, and mystery to make this volume mostly entertaining."
Hitler's love child and other shocking speculations. Read full book review >
DISASTER DRAWN by Hillary L. Chute
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Jan. 1, 2016

"Though this academic study has a stylistic density that a general readership might occasionally find difficult, the epiphanies are worth the effort."
An illuminating analysis of graphic narrative's documentary power. Read full book review >
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 >
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 >