History Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: April 16, 2015

"For WWII buffs, surely, but also for general readers looking to understand the damage inflicted and the terror inspired by the Japanese suicide squadrons."
A prolific popular historian specializing in World War II tells the incredible story of the "destroyer with a heart that couldn't be broken." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A meticulously detailed, welcome addition to the literature of World War I, the 'first ‘total' war in which all the resources of the state were involved.'"
TV producer and writer Downing (Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII, 2013, etc.) recounts the complete transformation of warfare during World War I, the first industrialized war.Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant history of the Dark Ages showing the growth and development of science, business, fashion, law, politics and other significant institutions—a joy to read and reread."
Novelist, journalist and historian Pye (The Pieces from Berlin, 2004, etc.) challenges all our notions of the Dark Ages and shows the vast accomplishments completed long before the Renaissance.Read full book review >
LENS OF WAR by J. Matthew Gallman
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 15, 2015

"A brilliant starting point for truly understanding the Civil War. As the authors point out, there is still much to explore."
A pictorial guide to the changes in our historical views of the Civil War, curated by Gallman (History/Univ. of Florida; Northerners at War, 2010, etc.) and Gallagher (History/Univ. of Virginia; The Union War, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
MINISTERS AT WAR by Jonathan Schneer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"Clear, thoroughly entertaining and full of lively detail."
During World War II, Britain was guided by a group of talented, ambitious rivals who put aside their differences to defeat their common enemy. Here's a look at how they worked together—and how it fell apart just as victory was in hand. Read full book review >

FRACTURE by Philipp Blom
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"A book to be absorbed, marveled at and admired for the wide range of research linking events and thoughts."
Blom (A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment, 2010, etc.) undertakes a massive work explaining the changes that took place in the years between the world wars.Read full book review >
THE INTIMATE BOND by Brian Fagan
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"Though reminding us of the cruelties still visited upon animals and insisting that we respect them anew—not merely as pets or idealized creatures of the wild—Fagan offers no resolutions to our conflicting attitudes toward them, but his compelling, cohesive book calls for further enlightenment."
Fagan (Emeritus, Anthropology/Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara; The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, 2013, etc.) brings consummate skill to this frequently horrifying study of humanity's interaction with animals.Read full book review >
THE CARTOON INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY by Michael F. Patton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 14, 2015

"A fun, clear and clever introduction to the rich history of philosophy in the Western world."
An obscure, pre-Socratic Greek philosopher takes readers down the long river of philosophy, explaining movements, theories, breakthroughs and ethics with the help of a few special guest stars. Read full book review >
KL by Nikolaus Wachsmann
HISTORY
Released: April 14, 2015

"A comprehensive, encyclopedic work that should be included in the collections of libraries, schools and other institutions."
A harrowing, thorough study of the Nazi camps that gathers a staggering amount of useful and necessary information on the collective catastrophe. Read full book review >
CAPITAL DAMES by Cokie Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 2015

"An enlightening account detailing how the Civil War changed the nation's capital while expanding the role of women in politics, health care, education, and social services."
Political commentator and bestselling author Roberts (Ladies of Liberty: The Women who Shaped our Nation, 2008, etc.) shines a spotlight on the remarkable political, literary, and activist women of Washington, D.C., during the tumult of the Civil War. Read full book review >
SWANSONG 1945 by Walter Kempowski
HISTORY
Released: April 13, 2015

"A riveting portrait of what Kurt Weill called the 'total breakdown of all human dignity,' revealed through the bric-a-brac of war-shattered lives."
From the absurd to the sublime, and everywhere heartbreaking: a collage of voices from the tail end of the world's conflagration. Read full book review >
TARGET TOKYO by James M. Scott
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 13, 2015

"A spirited, comprehensive and highly readable account of the tremendous wherewithal required for this extraordinary effort."
A new treatment of the daring Doolittle raids over Tokyo that fills in many of the gaps in the true story. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >