History Book Reviews (page 919)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 1993

"As a brief for MacDonald, too obviously slanted to be convincing; nonetheless, a powerful tale of ethnic awakening. (Sixteen-page b&w photo insert—not seen)"
The autobiography-cum-exoneration of MacDonald, once tribal chairman of the Navajo Nation, now a prisoner in a Navajo jail. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 10, 1993

"A troubling mix of violence, ignorance, and courage: a valuable piece of Americana. (Sixteen b&w photographs, one map- -not seen)"
A century after being written, vivid memories of the Civil War and the American frontier see the light of day. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Nov. 9, 1993

"A worthwhile history, particularly of political and military matters—but flawed somewhat by O'Neill's 1990's sensibility regarding issues of race, sex, etc., which isn't always fully sensitive to the very different mores that prevailed 50 years ago."
A judicious but generally somewhat lackluster history of ``the People's War.'' Although O'Neill (History/Rutgers; American High, 1986, etc.) derives his material entirely from secondary sources, he gives a nuanced and comprehensive account of the period—and also a somewhat revisionist one, particularly in his approval of FDR's policy toward the Soviet Union. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 8, 1993

"Opinions will differ, but Herbert proves to be a reliable guide on this journey through the looking glass."
A physicist's daring investigation of mind and its relation to matter. Read full book review >
IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS by Helen Suzman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 8, 1993

"An inspiring record of courage and principle modestly recalled—and a distinguished contribution to the history of both apartheid and women in politics."
The autobiography of renowned anti-apartheid politician Suzman—who kept the faith and fought the good fight in South Africa's long dark night of shame—that not only ``relives a magnificent battle against apartheid'' but reminds us how daunting that fight was. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 8, 1993

"A colorful introduction to a landmark period in US-Latin relations. (Illustrations)"
An assured popular history of cross-border turmoil that inaugurated more than 75 years of US intervention in Latin American affairs—and that produced lasting resentment in our neighbors to the south. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 5, 1993

"Pessen's devil is in the details he offers—statistics, statements, dispatches, hidden agendas—persuasively and with cool logic."
A severe reassessment of US responsibility for half a century of nuclear paranoia, by Pessen (History/Baruch College; The Log Cabin Myth, 1986, etc.—not reviewed). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 3, 1993

"Even in the notorious company of Love Canal, Three Mile Island, and Savannah River, Hanford can lay claim to the ugliest legacy of all—and D'Antonio chronicles it with such force that his pages fairly buzz with his outrage. (Eight-page b&w photo insert- -not seen)"
Downwind might be great for hunting, says Pulitzer-winning journalist D'Antonio (Heaven On Earth, 1991, etc.), but it's definitely not the place to be if you happen to live near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State. Read full book review >
BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL by Herman J. Viola
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 3, 1993

"Viola neither lionizes nor challenges Campbell's machismo—and this moral neutrality makes for a curiously old-fashioned biography, informative but ultimately unsatisfying. (Forty b&w photographs—not seen)"
An uncritical biography of the new US senator from Colorado, the only Native American serving in Congress. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 2, 1993

"Without Beauvoir's responses, the letters reveal the trivial and commonplace preoccupations of even the most heroic of intellects in the most trying of times."
A sequel to Witness to My Life (1992), which collected Sartre's letters to Simone de Beauvoir from 1926 to 1939. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

A comprehensive and balanced history of conservative Catholic social thought during the cold war era. Read full book review >
A HISTORY OF WARFARE by John Keegan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"While all civilizations may owe their origins—if not their existence—to war, Keegan concludes that global survival depends on our curbing humanity's vast capacity for destructive violence—and on this score, readers of his superb new survey will find, he's cautiously optimistic."
With his usual fluent mastery, Keegan (The Price of Admiralty, 1989, etc.) offers provocative perspectives on armed conflict through the ages. 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 >