History Book Reviews (page 920)

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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Fish offers here exactly what he argues for: clarity, integrity, conviction, the common place of common sense. (First serial to Harper's and the Atlantic Monthly)"
Splendid essays by Milton scholar and literary theorist Fish (Doing What Comes Naturally, 1990, etc.; English/Duke) that express his centrist, mediating, pragmatic position in the recent cultural wars over theory, politics, and the place of literature in society. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"But Hamblen refuses to name the names of guys who back-stabbed him, and his recounting lacks the smell of cordite, the sound of guns, the cries of the dying and wounded."
Stand-up, anecdotal, typical reminiscences of one of the Corps' all-time tough guys. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A somber but illuminating reminder of the perniciousness of prejudice—and of the terrible toll it exacts. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen)"
A harrowing recounting of a shameful chapter in American history. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Flawed by Levine's endless snarling and a sometime sluggish style—but undeniably the real nitty-gritty at its core. (Eight- page b&w photo insert—not seen)"
Former DEA agent Levine's account of his South American sting operation to capture major cocaine traffickers—a sting, he claims, that was sabotaged by the CIA. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A fine addition to WW I literature."
A real curiosity: a highly mannered WW I diary, published nearly 80 years after being written and 20 years after its author's death. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A painstaking record of atrocities, the will to survive no matter what, and the price paid for that survival."
Twenty-two powerful stories, recorded by Marks (a family- therapy columnist for Parents magazine), of Jewish men and women who hid from the Nazis as children—and of how this experience shaped their later lives. 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 >