History Book Reviews (page 930)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1992

"Disappointing. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Women spies—often notoriously glamorous and driven as much by the thrills as the cause—have customarily used seduction to get what they want. Read full book review >
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT by Blanche Wiesen Cook
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1992

"Informative but not definitive. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
From Cook (History/John Jay; The Declassified Eisenhower, 1981, etc.)—the first volume of a massive biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, which, in seeking redress for its subject, is flawed by its own (feminist) biases. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 1, 1992

"Through these vivid, searching voices, Terkel depicts, in all their complexity and humanity, people grappling with dilemmas posed in Andrew Hacker's Two Nations."
Focusing on one of the themes of his interview collection The Great Divide (1988), Pulitzer-winner Terkel (The Good War, 1984, etc.) elicits from dozens of blacks and whites a kaleidoscope of emotions on how they have been affected by race. Read full book review >
HITLER AND STALIN by Alan Bullock
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 31, 1992

"Bullock's mastery of research sources, his judgment, and his analytic powers prove him one of the great historians of our time. (Seventy-one photographs and 18 maps—not seen.)"
A masterpiece by Bullock (Ernest Bevin, 1984, etc.) that covers some of the most devastating events—as well as two of the most terrible personalities—of our century with breathtaking analytical power and narrative sweep. Read full book review >
JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON by Craig L. Symonds
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 30, 1992

"A stimulating and absorbing biography of an undeservedly neglected warrior. (Illustrations; maps.)"
In a significant contribution to interpretive Civil War scholarship, Symonds (History/US Naval Academy) paints an engrossing portrait of one of the most enigmatic and important figures of the war. Read full book review >

BORIS YELTSIN by Vladimir Solovyov
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 30, 1992

"Often disjointed and disorganized, as if hastily prepared, but providing remarkable insight into the conflicts in the Soviet Union and the quality of the man who has been called upon to deal with them."
An intriguing and potentially controversial biography of the new President of Russia, by husband-and-wife Russian ÇmigrÇs Solovyov and Klepikova (Behind the High Kremlin Walls, 1986; Yuri Andropov, 1983). Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 30, 1992

"While their prose style can most charitably be described as serviceable journalese, the authors offer a damning, dirt-dishing bill of particulars on a corporate chieftain arguably not up to the task of running his own show. (Eight pages of photos—not seen.)"
An unsparing and gossipy audit of James D. Robinson III's bumbling stewardship at American Express. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 27, 1992

"Jewishness that, ironically—given the title—seems more involved in discarding remnants than in saving them."
An eloquent exploration of the many facets of Jewish identity in America. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 27, 1992

"Frankland conveys the real tragedy enveloping Eastern Europe without closing his eyes or stumbling over the contradictions."
A whirlwind tour of Communist Europe during the last year of Communism, narrated with insight and restraint by English journalist and novelist Frankland (Richard Robertovich, 1988; Khrushchev, 1967). ``The tragedy of East Europe,'' according to Frankland, ``was that there were decent men among those who imposed Communism, and that it took so long for them to understand that they had taken a wrong turning to the promised land.'' Such understanding was bought at a high price: According to the author, ruined economies, ravaged landscapes, widespread disease, and chronic despair seem to be the only legacies of the old regimes now that the statues have come down and the streets have been renamed. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 25, 1992

"It is the care with which Browning examines the evidence, as well as the soberness of his conclusions, that gives this work such power and impact. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Chilling analysis of how a typical unit of German police actually operated during the Holocaust, by Browning (History/Pacific Lutheran Univ.). Read full book review >
OLYMPIA by Otto Friedrich
HISTORY
Released: March 25, 1992

"Rich, vivid, imaginatively organized—a 19th-century Bonfire of the Vanities, a true one, ready for the big screen. (Four pages of color photos, 12 pages of b&w—not seen.)"
Friedrich (Glenn Gould, The Grave of Alice B. Toklas—both 1989; City of Nets, 1986, etc.) now brings his rare historical imagination and narrative gifts to the art and politics, frivolity, eccentricity, and scandal of the Second Empire (1865-85) in Paris during the reign of Napoleon III. êdouard Manet's life is the frame, his art a recurrent motif. Read full book review >
THE JAPANESE CHRONICLES by Nicolas Bouvier
HISTORY
Released: March 23, 1992

"A superb guide, smoothly translated from the French, to the Japanese landscape and mind, and a delight for lovers of travel and fine writing. (Twelve photographs—most seen.)"
The ``best travel books,'' Bouvier believes, ``...are often written by people involved in commerce....Merchants' strict observations avoid the silly infatuations that will quickly take over the literature once poets start to travel.'' Happily, in this sensitive, acutely observed record of his stays in Japan, the author, a journalist who lives in Switzerland, disproves that statement with some of the most resonant and perceptive travel writing in recent years. 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 >