History Book Reviews (page 919)

SAME-SEX UNIONS IN PREMODERN EUROPE by John Boswell
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 1, 1994

"Well worth the attention of anyone with a serious interest in the social and spiritual history of love and marriage."
Boswell (History/Yale; Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, not reviewed) convincingly establishes that, from ancient times to the 18th century, throughout Christian Europe, same-sex union rituals honored a form of ``gay marriage.'' Working from church manuscripts, mainly in ancient Greek, that describe the ceremonies, Boswell carefully traces the historical context in which these practices occurred, exploring premodern beliefs about love and marriage, both gay and heterosexual. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1994

"With access to previously unattainable archives in Moscow and using extensive interviews and written material, Carroll tells a magnificent tale of hope, idealism, heroism, honor, death, and betrayal."
Tapping new sources for the first time, this must surely be considered the definitive work on Americans who fought and died for the Spanish Republic. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1994

"A highly readable and superbly researched biography of a man whose achievements transformed the decaying Roman Empire and had a lasting impact on Europe. (History Book Club main selection)"
An eminent classical historian (Founders of the Western World, 1991, etc.) skillfully records the turbulent life of the first Christian Roman emperor and founder of Constantinople, Constantine the Great (c. 272337). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1994

"Understandably incomplete as a tale of recent history, but a worthy aid to understanding Yugoslavia's demise."
An incisive and affecting Yugoslavian travelogue from May to mid-September 1991, just as the country split up and its former republics went to war. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1994

"Although there is much of interest here and the pieces appear to be in the words of those interviewed, the fact that Johnson says nothing about her methods in gathering and recording the stories should make readers wary."
An amateur ethnographer's attempt at recording the life stories of various aged Native Americans. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: July 1, 1994

"Ignoring the fact that the peoples with which she is dealing are involved in complex cultural and religious systems from which isolated elements cannot be plucked, McLuhan finds a kind of false unity while sometimes steamrolling the beautiful, rich diversity."
This examination of how different cultures and religions view nature tends to flatten differences among various traditions into a kind of spiritual pancake. Read full book review >
THE DRAGON'S PEARL by Sirin Phathanothai
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1994

"Less excusable is her sketchy description of her reconciliation with her father and brother, who both apparently bore her little ill will. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
An unusual and often absorbing memoir of China and its leaders by a woman who, in 1956 when she was eight, was sent there with her older brother to serve as a ``bridge'' between two ostensibly hostile nations—her adopted country and her native Thailand. Read full book review >
COMRADE VALENTINE by Richard E. Rubenstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1994

"Though there is a little too much speculation and less than authoritative reconstruction of Azef's thoughts, this is a persuasive and gripping account of a shadowy but pivotal figure."
A life—intriguing in every sense of the word—of legendary czarist police spy and social revolutionary Yevno Azef by Rubenstein (Conflict Resolution/George Mason Univ., Alchemists of Revolution, 1987). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 1994

"Still, a solid account of one woman's remarkable physical and moral endurance."
Ross (Journalism/Northwestern; Escape to Shanghai, not reviewed) tells the story of Wen Zangde (1900-88), whose extraordinary life mirrored the vicissitudes of 20th-century Chinese history. Read full book review >
AMERICAN NOTES by Daniel Aaron
HISTORY
Released: June 30, 1994

"A somewhat anachronistic collection by an American Studies pioneer."
Jargon-free critical essays on the intersection of American culture and history. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 30, 1994

"A highly charged and eminently readable critique of a sandstorm in the world's eye."
A lucid compilation of 39 essays by Said (Comparative Literature/Columbia), the most eloquent spokesperson for the Palestinian cause in the Western world since the Arab defeat in the 1967 war against Israel. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 29, 1994

"For newcomers to such issues—which almost all of us are- -this brief, rigorous investigation will prove extremely useful in establishing positions and politicking for reforms."
A masterful introduction to the issues of ownership of and access to data in the fast-arriving information age, complete with suggestions for needed legislative and judicial reform. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Morgan Matson
July 25, 2016

The Unexpected Everything is a YA feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans. Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan. Future? A top-tier medical school. Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around). Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else? Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks. So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too. Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all. “Romance fans will find plenty to enjoy, as Andie gradually lets down her guard and risks the messy and unpredictable wonder of first love,” our reviewer writes. “A novel best read on a lazy summer day with sand between the toes.” View video >