History Book Reviews (page 9)

HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"Occasionally breathless and torrid in description, this is a well-documented work that certainly never bores."
Fascinating portrait of an accidental but very effective female American spy at the fraught early stages of World War II. Read full book review >
THE INVENTORS by Peter Selgin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"A reflective investigation of the self, memory, and invention."
Selgin (Confessions of a Left-Handed Man: An Artist's Memoir, 2011, etc.) explores his relationships with two men who "had a profound influence" on him.Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"A great subject overwhelmed by legal minutiae."
Who was the clever thief who snatched Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London in 1961? Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"Celebrating the museum's 150th anniversary, this book sparkles with delightful stories and anecdotes about natural history told in a lively style."
A rich and enthusiastic history of Yale University's impressive Peabody Museum of Natural History. Read full book review >
THE KILLING OF OSAMA BIN LADEN by Seymour Hersh
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 12, 2016

"The essays are densely composed, sometimes presupposing extensive reader knowledge about American military and diplomatic involvement in the affairs of geographically remote nations. Context beyond the content of the London Review of Books pieces would have added value to Hersh's reporting."
The Pulitzer Prize winner builds on his reputation as an iconic investigative journalist, skewering the conventional wisdom about the death of Osama bin Laden. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"Though a footnote to broader studies of Roosevelt, this book offers well-considered interpretations of 'the brainy naturalist and muscular adventurer.'"
Teddy Roosevelt: not just hunter, but also gatherer. Read full book review >
HEYDAY by Ben Wilson
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"An above-average addition to the when-the-modern-age-began genre."
Did the modern world begin during World War I, in 1945, or perhaps with the steam engine in the 1700s? British historian Wilson (What Price Liberty!: How Freedom Was Won and Is Being Lost, 2009, etc.) makes an engrossing case for the dozen years after 1850.Read full book review >
MAKING MONTE CARLO by Mark Braude
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: April 12, 2016

"A well-researched, dramatic rags-to-riches urban tale."
A story of how one city attained spectacular wealth and luxury. Read full book review >
DEMOCRACY NOW! by Amy Goodman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"An impassioned book aiming to fuel informed participation, outrage, and dissent."
A 20-year chronicle of a radio, TV, and Internet broadcast program whose mission has been to expose, defy, and edify. Read full book review >
SHANTYTOWN, USA by Lisa Goff
HISTORY
Released: April 11, 2016

"An interesting history lacking a prescription for the future."
Shantytowns, the author argues, have been "a decentralized, self-built, market-based solution to the affordable housing shortage." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 11, 2016

"Victorian murder mysteries are usually entertaining. Even without a Sherlock, this highly readable story still shows the cleverness of the police and the frustrations of prosecutors."
Murphy (Interdisciplinary Writing/Univ. of Colorado; Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy, 2013) exposes the inequities of British justice in the 1871 case of Jane Clouson, who was "found attacked and horribly disfigured on a quiet country lane outside of Greenwich."Read full book review >
THE ORACLE OF OIL by Mason Inman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2016

"Inman provides enlightenment on a persistently intractable topic and praise for the scientist who clearly saw the consequences of our reliance on oil."
The career of a hero of hydrocarbon exploration reminds us that it's a finite world after all. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >