History Book Reviews (page 94)

HISTORY
Released: May 2, 2002

"Contemporary Israeli poets and Arab intellectuals pine for the glories of al-Andalus, as did Federico García Lorca and Antonio Machado. So, too, does Menocal."
A resonant and timely case study of a time when followers of the three monotheisms set aside their differences and tried to get along. Read full book review >
THE LETTERS OF ARTURO TOSCANINI by Harvey Sachs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 28, 2002

"Music, history, and gossip from a master musician and letter-writer. (7 b&w photos)"
A rich and vivid collection of the great conductor's correspondence. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2002

"Fascinating stuff. A boon for students of military history and naval warfare."
A stirring reconstruction of one of history's great—and least-known—naval battles. Read full book review >
A SONG FLUNG UP TO HEAVEN by Maya Angelou
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 9, 2002

"Alternately elegiac, meditative, and humorous, a book to savor and remember."
The distinguished poet and playwright brings her six-volume cycle of memoirs to a close. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2002

"Elegant, controversial, and altogether memorable."
A poetic, often contrarian meditation on race in modern America. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 2002

"Fascinating through and through, if open to debate."
A sprawling, highly readable history that judges America's long struggle to defeat Communism a necessary battle badly fought from start to finish. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 15, 2002

"A well-reasoned argument for the moral necessity of halting genocide wherever it occurs, and an unpleasant reminder of our role in enabling it, however unwittingly."
The executive director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy presents a superb analysis of the US government's evident unwillingness to intervene in ethnic slaughter. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 12, 2002

"Intelligent, thoughtful, and deliciously gossipy: a must for anyone interested in book publishing."
Charming WWII-era letters exchanged by the founders of Random House. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 5, 2002

"A supremely fascinating look at a 'serious, substantive presidency.' No journalist is better matched to this subject than Klein, and his analysis deserves the wide attention it's bound to get."
"He remains the most compelling politician of his generation, although that isn't saying very much." Read full book review >
LINCOLN’S GREATEST SPEECH by Ronald C. White
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 12, 2002

"Well researched, wonderfully written, and at times extraordinarily moving. White's relatively small volume comes closer to finding the true spirit of Abraham Lincoln than many of the more celebrated biographies."
A thoughtful historical, cultural, and literary meditation on President Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural address. Read full book review >
SOUNDS OF THE RIVER by Da Chen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2002

"Another celebration of true grit, loving family ties, and the strength to prevail even in a mendacious and authoritarian society."
In an equally beguiling sequel to his acclaimed memoir, Colors of the Mountain (2000), which chronicled growing up during China's Cultural Revolution, Chen vividly details his years at college in the early 1980s as Mao's successors now encourage moneymaking but are loath to loosen the reins of power. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 2, 2002

"Absorbing and horrendous at the same time: an important contribution to American history."
A journalist's painstaking recounting of a bloody urban race riot that was covered up for decades. 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 >