History Book Reviews

MAN IN PROFILE by Thomas Kunkel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"Kunkel cannot solve the mystery, but he offers a finely delineated portrait of the man."
The strange trajectory of one writer's career. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Difficult reading, but an extremely well-written political statement about Turkey—not just then, but as it is now."
Actor, playwright and novelist Bogosian (Perforated Heart, 2009, etc.) retells the horrors of the Turkish attempt to eradicate the Armenians: the century's first ethnic cleansing. Read full book review >

THE RELIGION OF DEMOCRACY by Amy Kittelstrom
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"An intellectual history that, while scholarly and broadly allusive, extends beyond the academy walls."
A young scholar's first book finds in America's 19th-century embrace of religious liberalism the seeds of modern political liberalism. Read full book review >
RAIN by Cynthia Barnett
HISTORY
Released: April 21, 2015

"Highlights the severity of some of our environmental problems with knowledge, humor, urgency and hope."
An environmental journalist returns with a multifaceted examination of the science, the art, the technology and even the smell of rain throughout history. Read full book review >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >