History Book Reviews (page 923)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"An unusually intimate and honest attempt to portray the last years of the Soviet Union by one who, for all his faults, retained a sense of honor."
A devastating glimpse into life at the top of the Soviet Union—ironically written by the man who, as director of the Institute for the Study of the United States and Canada, was one of the Soviet system's most effective defenders. Read full book review >
SHE WENT TO WAR by Rhonda Cornum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A fast-paced story as much about war and one remarkable woman as about the tenacity of the human spirit. (Sixteen b&w photographs, one map—not seen.)"
A soldier's story of the Gulf War—with a twist: The author, who was taken prisoner by the Iraqis, is a woman, wife, and mother, as well as a flight surgeon in the army. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A razor-sharp dissection of how the strains of maintaining Pax Americana have undermined the strength it sought to protect in the first place."
In 1941, Henry Luce summed up decades of national aspiration in the term ``the American Century''—an era in which US democracy and commodities would be our principal exports. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"An informative, sometimes vivid, anecdotal survey that shies away from breakthrough interpretations of the artistic revolution staged almost 50 years ago. (Photographs—including eight pages of color—not seen.)"
A study of Abstract Expressionism by an art journalist and curator who takes 1950 as the movement's decisive year. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Perfectly nasty reading, then, for election-year cynics."
Miller (Spying for America, 1989, etc.) updates The Founding Finaglers (1976), his sharp-tongued, lively chronicle of the history of US governmental corruption from the nation's early days of embezzlement-happy colonial governors through the Teapot Dome Scandal of the Harding Administration. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Not Giddins at his consistent, authoritative best, then, but sturdy, accessible work from a valuable critic."
Village Voice critic Giddins (Rhythm-a-ning, 1985, etc.) shows his versatility in this large, varied collection of reviews and essays—but the jazz pieces remain far more impressive than the author's writing on literature and show-biz. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"By no means a definitive biography, but not flack-fluff either; and, for all its slant, the most informative text available on the man who would be President. (Sixteen pages of photographs- -not seen.)"
If Clinton wins the White House, he should consider choosing as his press secretary either author of this subtle panegyric. ``This biography,'' write Allen and Portis, ``is a thorough examination of a man who dreamed of being president...from his earliest days.'' Thorough, perhaps, but also delicately biased. Read full book review >
LAWS OF HEAVEN by Michael Gallagher
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"A thumbtack on the chair seat for moral equivocators, whatever their faith."
The impassioned, sometimes holy, sometimes holier-than-thou world of Catholic political activists. Read full book review >
ABBIE HOFFMAN by Marty Jezer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Hoffman—and a whole doomed, inspired era—emerges vividly in this cleareyed, richly detailed work. (Photographs—24 pages b&w- -not seen.)"
A thoughtful, solidly researched biography of the wildly creative and iconoclastic yippie, portraying Hoffman as a fresh force in American political culture—and as a man ultimately sabotaged by bipolar disorder (manic-depression), which drove him to extremes and probably led to his suicide. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 1, 1992

"Rewires your thinking. (Four halftones by Pulitzer-winning Chicago Tribune photographer Ovie Carter.)"
Essential black study by a young white sociologist/law student. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 29, 1992

"Still, Oppenheimer's familiarity with Cuban history, psychology, and culture—combined with extensive research and interviews—place his account well above standard left-bashing. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Real-life thriller about Fidel Castro vs. perestroika and glasnost; by Oppenheimer, Pulitzer-winning foreign correspondent for The Miami Herald. Read full book review >
WHAT'$ IN IT FOR ME? by Joseph Stedino
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 29, 1992

"Very hard to put down. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Grimly hilarious exposÇ of Arizona pols on the take; by Stedino, a former mobster writing here with Matera (coauthor, Quitting the Mob, 1991, etc.). ``Desert Sting'' required imagination and about a million dollars, and it worked: Stedino, a three-time loser posing as Tony Vincent, set out ostensibly to legalize gambling in Arizona—by buying votes. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >