History Book Reviews (page 930)

MY CHICAGO by Jane Byrne
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1992

"A compelling account of modern urban politics, from one who was there. (Photographs—not seen.)"
In an engaging and readable work of history and autobiography, Chicago's first woman mayor reflects on the history of her city and of her tenure. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"God-fearers), but his study reinforces the perception that his subjects live in a simply perceived world of theological givens."
An ethnographer's safari into the black-and-white world of Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Read full book review >

M.I.A. OR MYTHMAKING IN AMERICA by H. Bruce Franklin
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"Intelligent, provocative, and courageous."
A calm and thoughtful book on a firestorm of a subject, by Franklin (English and American Studies/Rutgers; War Stars, 1988, etc.). Read full book review >
ONLY MAN IS VILE by William McGowan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1992

"McGowan has done his homework, offering instructive insights into Third World politics gone mad."
An exhaustive treatment, in the manner of a grim travelogue, of the ongoing Sri Lankan civil war. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1992

"A solid journalistic contribution to one of the enduring controversies in cold war spookery, with close attention paid to the byzantine mind-games that the CIA waged against its enemy and, ultimately, its own staff. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
This Kafkaesque chronicle from CIA maven and novelist Wise (The Samarkand Dimension, 1987; The Children's Game, 1983, etc.) might just as easily be titled Damage: damage to an agency's morale, to its officers and their families, to civil liberties, and ultimately to US military and foreign policy in some of the hottest years of the cold war. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"Much of the impact of this smart, sweeping, intermittently clarifying commentary comes from well-captioned b&w photographs of influential landmarks of taste—from a Paris restaurant of 1900 to Converse sneakers, Coco Chanel, a William Morris print, and the Rothschilds' chateau."
A British design critic (Harley Earl and the Dream Machine, 1983) offers an opinionated tour of the modern and mercurial concept of taste, that ``merciless betrayer of social and cultural attitudes.'' ``Good'' and ``bad'' taste, Bayley argues, are not absolutes, and no longer the simple matter of rules they were in Joshua Reynolds's England. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1992

"Unfocused and as much about Scarborough's milieu as the man himself, but still a colorful rendering of the hard men (and women) who thrived on the frontier. (Photos.)"
The life and times of one of the more modest frontier gunmen, and his sizable role in the taming of the New Mexico and Arizona Territories, by Wild West biographer DeArment (Knights of the Green Cloth, 1982—not reviewed). Read full book review >
CLAIMING BREATH by Diane Glancy
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"A worthwhile model for those advocating women's journal writing as a road to self-actualization and for people seeking to reconnect with a lost cultural heritage; other readers will be only intermittently rewarded."
Glancy (the story collection Trigger Dance, 1990) won the North American Indian Prose Award for this wildly uneven grab-bag in the form of a journal: fresh language and banality, fine prose- poetry and self-indulgence. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"But his insights into the racial wounds that refuse to close are searing, and urgently need to be addressed."
``Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal,'' concluded the Kerner Commission on civil disorders in 1968. Read full book review >
SLOW FIRE by Susan Neiman
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"Finally, her Berlin 80's, materially shabby, spiritually rich, make us wish—as she intends- -that we'd spent the decade differently over here."
Vergangenheitsverarbeitung is one of those post-WW II German coinages that admit defeat by their very existence. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1992

"A fascinating portrait of a double agent whose active disaffection with the communist system helped consign it to history's dustbin. (Eight pages of photos—not seen.)"
While Oleg V. Penkovsky may not, literally, have saved the world, this tellingly detailed saga reconfirms that the turncoat GRU colonel provided the West with priceless intelligence during the early 1960's, when the cold war very nearly turned hot. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 1992

"Western history is more ignored by historians and the general public'') that shoots itself in the foot through excessive zeal—a charge, ironically, often hurled against the original Reformers. (Fifteen b&w illustrations- -not seen.)"
Ozment (History/Harvard), a specialist in the Reformation (Three Behaim Boys, 1990, The Age of Reform, 1980), digs into the trenches with this popular history of Luther's revolution that doubles as neo-Protestant polemic. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >