History Book Reviews (page 920)

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 14, 1992

"An affecting mourning for the impending destruction of the Amish community, both for its own sake and for that of our larger society—for whom the Amish, Testa convinces us, can serve as a valuable example."
As a Harvard graduate student, former third-grade teacher at a Denver private school, and serious ethical thinker of Catholic persuasion and ``morally tired'' condition, Testa spent the summer of 1988 living with an Amish family in Lancaster County, where he conducted fieldwork for a Ph.D. thesis exploring a ``community of faith.'' In that period and in frequent subsequent visits, Testa became deeply attached to his host family, impressed by their resolutely unworldly community and involved in their reluctant struggle—the Old Order Amish shun politics, publicity, and any participation in ``outside'' society—against the development forces that are gobbling up local farmland and threatening to destroy the 200-year- old Amish settlement. Read full book review >
ONE HUNDRED DAYS by Alan Schom
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 14, 1992

"A master annalist's vivid reconstruction of a turning-point in world history. (Eight pages of illustrations—not seen.)"
By itself, Napoleon's mid-1815 defeat at Waterloo, barely four months after he had escaped from Elba, was so dramatic that historians often neglect the events leading up to the climactic clash between insurgent French and Allied forces. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 11, 1992

Here, Callow (Son and Lover, 1975) finds Walt Whitman to be mysterious, evasive, contradictory—a ``psychological oddity'' whose very confessions, revelations, and disclosures created a ``thicket of identities'' that further obscured his real self. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 9, 1992

"Deftly mixing history, countless interviews, and an analysis of recent events country by country, this is a valuable resource for those interested in what the future might hold for Eastern Europe and the Jews who choose to stay there. (Photo insert—not seen.)"
An astute, challenging assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Jewish communities formerly behind the Iron Curtain, by Jerusalem journalist/sociologist Hoffman. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 8, 1992

"An authoritative, ironic, and stirring addition to Civil War annals. (Two 16-page b&w photo inserts.)"
In George B. McClellan (1988) and his work editing the papers of the Union general, Sears established himself as the critical but indispensable authority on flawed ``Little Mac.'' Now, in a stirring prequel to Landscape Turned Red (1983), his superb account of the Battle of Antietam, the author reaffirms his mastery of historical narrative. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 8, 1992

"Resourceful, lucid, sweeping—a true and refining pleasure. (Photos—130—not seen.)"
A historical survey of the idea of gentility as expressed in architecture, furnishings, fashions, manners, and taste from about 1690-1850. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Ayers succeeds in depicting the post-Reconstruction South not as a repressed backwater of American life, but as a region that, despite substantial injustices, made significant contributions to American life."
A uniquely comprehensive cultural, political, and social history of post-Reconstruction, exploring not only ``the South's deep poverty and institutionalized injustice'' but also ``the complexity of experience in the new South.'' Ayers (History/Univ. of Virginia; Vengeance and Justice, 1983) aims ``to understand what it meant to live in the American South in the years after Reconstruction.'' To achieve this, he examines the matrix of economic and societal forces that shaped the South's singular culture. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Lively, intelligent, clarifying—a well-timed response that may catch the eye of Susan Faludi's, if not Bly's, readers."
Twenty stimulating, often passionate essays by feminists whose styles vary remarkably but whose message remains the same—that most forms of the current 'men's movement' reinforce patriarchy and widen the gap between men and women just when, for the sake of our children, ourselves, and the environment, we most need to work together. 'Make no mistake about it,' Gloria Steinem writes in her foreword, 'women want a men's movement. Read full book review >
COMING OUT CONSERVATIVE by Marvin Liebman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"An absorbing, occasionally awkward book given resonance by the author's struggle with—and final acceptance of—his homosexuality. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen.)"
An eventful, stylish, sometimes painful memoir by right-wing agitator Liebman. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"A well-told tale of a paradigmatic warrior. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
A fine appreciation of the military professional who arguably ranks among America's very best generals. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"A provocative, detailed view, if somewhat disorganized and repetitious, offering ample evidence that the war was far from over after the soldiers went home."
A careful assessment of the environmental damage wrought by both sides in Operation Desert Storm, locally and globally, from Boston-based science-writer Hawley. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Familiar examples and few new insights, but, still, a cogent and evenhanded summary of generally available information about the influence of TV on politicking. (Forty halftones, ten graphs—not seen.)"
An attempt to determine the extent to which TV has contributed to the manipulation of political campaigns—and what can be done about it; by Jamieson (Communication/Univ. of Penn.; Eloquence in an Electronic Age, 1988, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >