History Book Reviews

KISSINGER'S SHADOW by Greg Grandin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"A trenchant and succinct depiction of the ongoing artful dodging of the nonagenarian statesman."
A focused examination of Henry Kissinger's foreign policy as the normalization of "secrecy and spectacle," from Southeast Asia to Chile to Iran to Iraq. Read full book review >
ZERO NIGHT by Mark Felton
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"In this exciting book, Felton has captivatingly captured the bravery of the prisoners."
Military historian Felton (China Station: The British Military in the Middle Kingdom, 2013, etc.) delivers a page-turner about one particularly daring escape from a Nazi POW camp during World War II.Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"An illuminating voyage into the heart of Frost's poem and the American spirit."
Unraveling the mystery of a famous poem. Read full book review >
THE END OF TSARIST RUSSIA by Dominic Lieven
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A Russian scholar opens up new, even startling historical connections."
Fresh research at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow (since closed) yields an insightful new look at Russia's pivotal role in the making of World War I. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"A consistently fine appreciation of the medical maverick who, as much as any other, helped make the Space Age possible."
An author specializing in aviation tells the remarkable, almost-forgotten story of an aerospace pioneer. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"There are not enough superlatives to describe the wealth of information in this book and the bright, clear way in which it is taught. Just buy it."
Rael (History/Bowdoin Coll.; Black Identity and Black Protest in the Antebellum North, 2002, etc.) examines the long, slow death of slavery in the United States, masterfully showing how each event is connected and letting us in on secrets that textbooks never mentioned.Read full book review >
A WOMAN IN ARABIA by Gertrude Bell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An impressive anthology by a scholar who knows how to separate the wheat from the chaff within the massive amount of primary source material Bell left behind at her death."
Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) shattered gender stereotypes while influencing British policy in the Middle East, particularly in the areas in and around present-day Iraq. Editor Howell (Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, 2007) brings the "female Lawrence of Arabia" to life through judicious selections from Bell's massive public writings and personal papers.Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"As laws and mores continue to change at a rapid pace, this engaging study offers helpful historical and legal explanations."
This follow-up to lawyer Berkowitz's Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire (2012) brings Western society's continued attempt at regulating sexual mores to the present.Read full book review >
KATRINA by Gary Rivlin
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Deeply engrossing, well-written, and packed with revealing stories."
Former New York Times reporter Rivlin (Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc.—How the Working Poor Became Big Business, 2010, etc.) delivers a magnificently reported account of life in a broken, waterlogged city. Read full book review >
TO HELL AND BACK by Charles Pellegrino
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 6, 2015

"This is horrifying, painful, and necessary reading."
On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pellegrino's (Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy, 2012, etc.) account of the survivors—a book recalled and pulped in 2010 by its original publisher after doubts about the authenticity of the claims made by one of the author's sources—now appears in a revised edition. Read full book review >
GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
UNDER ANOTHER SKY by Charlotte Higgins
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A thoroughly researched, elegantly written history."
Inquiring into the deep sources of British identity. 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 >