History Book Reviews (page 930)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 2, 1992

"Whether nonspecialists will take much interest in Gray's informed—albeit donnish and often murky—analyses, though, is quite another story."
A think-tank intellectual's persuasive, if tedious, reminder that sea power confers decisive military superiority—even in an era marked by advances in aerospace, ballistic, electronic, nuclear, submarine, and allied technologies. Read full book review >
LATINOS by Earl Shorris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Wide-ranging, groundbreaking, opinionated, and very important."
Personal, impassioned overview of the fastest growing minority in the US. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"A warm and fitting tribute that provides an excellent examination of the development of Marshall's jurisprudence. (Twenty-four pages of photographs—not seen.)"
An affectionate and engaging biography of the ``rumpled bear of a man'' who served as the liberal conscience of the Supreme Court, and as its first African-American justice, from 1967 until his retirement last year. Read full book review >
JFK by Nigel Hamilton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"A well-rounded, compelling biography that points the way for future scholars and will leave readers eager for Hamilton's planned future volumes on JFK. (Sixteen pages of b&w photos—not seen.)"
Perhaps the most revealing biography yet of Jack Kennedy coming of age, up to his election to Congress in 1946. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"It remains to be seen if these goods will sell in these former colonies. (Photographs—not seen.)"
Lahr (Automatic Vaudeville, 1984, etc.), in British tonalities never learned from his father, offers an overwrought backstage bio of a comedian largely unappreciated this side of the Pond. Read full book review >

ARTHUR C. CLARKE by Neil McAleer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Useful to specialists and students of sf, but likely to disappoint the more general reader. (Thirty b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Science journalist McAleer (The Mind-Boggling Universe, 1987; The Body Almanac, 1985) turns his attention to one of the giants of his own field. Read full book review >
DEAN ACHESON by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Even Acheson, for all his crustiness, would have respected the clear, concise writing and objectivity of this fine political biography. (Twenty illustrations—not seen.)"
Cool, lucid account of the later years of a towering cold-war figure; by Brinkley (History/Hofstra Univ.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Though claiming an alarming trend toward medical coverups in the White House during the past century, Ferrell provides extensive data on only Eisenhower's case; if a pattern exists, he doesn't conclusively demonstrate it."
Medical coverups—and goof-ups—in the White House since Grover Cleveland's day, by the author/editor of numerous books on U.S. Presidents (Truman, 1984, etc.). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Moving, inspiring at best; mildly informative but too often sketchy."
Essays by the activist poet (Civil Wars, 1981, etc.) that offer moments of insight or interpretation but are best for fellow progressives. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"A strong antidote to ethnic scapegoating and quick-fix thinking about trade imbalances."
Expert analysis of evolving US/Asia economic and cultural realities, by Gibney (Asian Editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica; Miracle by Design, 1982, etc.). Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Strong on O'Brien but weak on Burke—and most readers will have to resort to a handbook on the religious and political controversies of the 18th century, as well to as a conventional Burke biography, to make sense of it all. (Illustrations—not seen.)"
O'Brien (Pro-Chancellor/Univ. of Dublin; Cunning and Passion, 1988, etc.) argues here that Edmund Burke (1729-97), widely considered the ``father of modern conservatism,'' was really a ``liberal pluralist.'' Neither biography (not even an ``unconventional'' one, as O'Brien claims) nor anthology (too little Burke, too much O'Brien), this is an extended political essay focusing on four arenas of 18th-century political life—Ireland, America, India, and France- -preceded by an attack on the dominant school of Burke scholarship, which, in assessing Burke as a conservative, consigned him, O'Brien says, to ``the ash-bin of history.'' O'Brien believes that he can provide the ``basis and essentials for a Burke revival'' by proving that Burke was, in fact, a prophet of revolution. Read full book review >
THE IMMOBILE EMPIRE by Alain Peyrefitte
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"But while Peyrefitte's nearly day-by-day account will fascinate Sinologists and students of East-West affairs, it may prove too detailed for the average reader. (Sixteen pages of full-color illustrations and six maps—not seen.)"
A painstakingly researched, gracefully written, but far too leisurely account of the misadventures of an 18th-century British royal delegation to the Celestial Court of the Chinese Emperor Qianlong. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >