History Book Reviews (page 930)

HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"With magisterial command, Stokes does full justice to his momentous subject."
Authoritative, cogent, and compelling account of the upheavals in Eastern Europe. Read full book review >
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE by Patricia A. Turner
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Highly repetitious in detail and argument—but, still, an intriguing and thorough analysis. (Five b&w illustrations—not seen)"
Fried chicken will make you sterile; the FBI killed Martin Luther King, Jr.; the ``powers that be'' facilitated the crack epidemic, the AIDS epidemic, and the murders of black children in Atlanta: Here, folklore scholar Turner (African-American and African Studies/UC Davis) offers an illuminating examination of why rumors like these persist in the African-American community. Read full book review >

'BROTHER WOODROW' by Stockton Axson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"Revealing of the idealism, energy, and talents—as well as of the preoccupied and cold personality—that carried Wilson to a dominant presidency. (Thirty halftones—not seen)"
Personal memoir of Woodrow Wilson by his brother-in-law, edited by Link (American History/Princeton). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 1993

"A cultivated humanist's marvelously readable memoir of revolution's hard realities, which 20 years later has appeal for readers of almost any political persuasion."
A genuine literary treasure from Latin America's recent past, which—though originally published in 1973 in Spain and elsewhere- -is just now available in a gracefully translated US edition, with a laudatory preface by Octavio Paz. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 30, 1993

"Post-glasnost history of real substance."
Hard-digging study of how US foreign policy was reshaped by Truman and his cabinet members by means of disinformation. Read full book review >

WARRIORS IN EDEN by Mariano Gagnon
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 25, 1993

"A moderately gripping story of a modern-day hero, despite the warts. (Photos)"
A Franciscan missionary battles drug-runners and Shining Path terrorists on behalf of Peruvian Indians: a story competently told with the help of the Hoffers, specialists in coauthoring tales of Third World trauma (Midnight Express, Not Without My Daughter). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 1993

"A curious combination of scholarship, exactness, and disorganization: a difficult but rewarding read for those not students of the period."
An exhaustive, fascinating examination of the controversial role played by Heidegger in the early years of the Nazi regime. Read full book review >
POINT MAN by James Watson
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 1993

"The text, which has about as much subtlety and sensitivity as a swift kick to the groin, includes 12 b&w photos—not seen."
A veteran's salty recollections of what it meant to be a member of the Navy SEALs. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 18, 1993

"Extensive notes and bibliography add to the value of this study for the student of religion, but it lacks the punchy thesis needed for more popular appeal."
A thoughtful but short-sighted study of a precariously splintered American Jewry. Read full book review >
ACHESON COUNTRY by David C. Acheson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"Engaging, human-scale perspectives on a worldly wise eminence whose personal principles and foibles help explain his accomplishments on a large stage. (Photographs, plus a foreword by David McCullough—not seen)"
A loving son's captivating reminiscences of his famous father. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 16, 1993

"A perceptive study that affords a measure of cold comfort on the score of deterrence."
A somewhat reassuring audit of the residual threat posed by nuclear weapons, from a military analyst whose previous predictions have proved chillingly prescient. Read full book review >
THE FATE OF AFRICA by Jeremy Harding
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 12, 1993

"Harding's empathy for his subjects' suffering is creditable, but their fate, as well as that of the continent he so obviously loves, get losts in a text that wanders, jumps, and never quite gets in focus. (Maps)"
A series of set-pieces that graphically illustrate—but less successfully illuminate—the terrible tangle of ancient legacies and contemporary politics that threaten Africa. 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 >