History Book Reviews (page 928)

HISTORY
Released: April 14, 1992

"Strictly an introduction to a complex subject, but, in its yearning and contradictions, an unusually revealing one."
A companion volume to an upcoming Discovery/BBC TV series, this passionate meditation on Hispanic cultural identity from Fuentes (Constancia, 1990, etc.) unfolds with all the color, urgency, and perhaps inevitable superficiality of a popular documentary. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 1992

"A fine biography and an evocative portrait of Trott's times. (Twenty-eight b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A close look into Hitler's Germany via the life of aristocratic anti-Nazi Adam von Trott zu Solz, by British historian MacDonogh. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 3, 1992

"Readers interested in the extraordinary events of 1989 would do better to look at Mark Frankland's The Patriots' Revolution (reviewed above)."
A rather dry account of the failure of Communism in Eastern Europe, told by an expatriate Romanian academic (Political Science/Univ. of Maryland)—long on background, well documented, but plodding as narrative. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 3, 1992

"Provocative and illuminating."
A skillfully argued if not always convincing explanation of how Union and Confederate political and military leaders executed their respective game plans for winning the Civil War. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 3, 1992

"There is a difference between intelligence and voyeurism'')—but the tone of tolerant amusement removes any sense of urgency; in fact, one might see this study as a subtle apologia for agencies that sometimes defy Congress and act with little control."
Intelligence gathering explained and critiqued by Codevilla (Senior Research Fellow/Hoover Institution). Read full book review >

FREE SPEECH IN AN OPEN SOCIETY by Rodney A. Smolla
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 2, 1992

"An excellent and important work."
A superb exposition of the significance of free speech and an analysis of how to preserve it in our increasingly complex society. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1992

"A controversial mix of history and opinion that's both timely and noteworthy."
An Israeli insider's insightful account of 44 years of deadly superpower intrigue, inevitable Arab-Israeli wars, and elusive attempts at peace. Read full book review >
WHY THE CONFEDERACY LOST by Gabor S. Boritt
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1992

"A stimulating, authoritative, and persuasive contribution to Civil War historiography."
In this slender but sensibly argued group of essays edited by Boritt (Civil War Studies/Gettysburg College), five outstanding Civil War scholars offer their views of what led to Robert E. Lee's appointment with Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1992

"Not as much fun as might be hoped as Hancock digs through literary and bibical texts while convincing himself that the Ark exists. (Sixteen pp. of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
English journalist Hancock retells the circumstances and thoughts that led to his discovery that the Lost Ark of the Covenant really exists. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1992

"Haunting vignettes of civil strife's barbarities—and fatal attractions."
A journalist's unsentimental and impressionistic reminiscences of his experiences as a free-lance correspondent in embattled Afghanistan. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1992

"An agenda-driven play-by-play that's told too far from the heat of the field."
Weighted report on the 1990 Democratic campaigns of Ann Richards, who won the statehouse in Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, who lost it in California; by the author of Fanny Wright: Rebel in America (not reviewed). Read full book review >
DE GAULLE by Jean Lacouture
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1992

"A leisurely biography that stints on explaining how de Gaulle worked his imperious will, but scores in detailing his evolution as a symbol of national unity and as a geopolitical realist. (Photographs.)"
Lacouture follows up his De Gaulle: The Rebel, 1890-1944 (1990) with another admiring volume, tracing how the triumphant leader of the Free French consolidated his position as the colossus bestriding his country's political institutions. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >