History Book Reviews

LENIN ON THE TRAIN by Catherine Merridale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"A superbly written narrative history that draws together and makes sense of scattered data, anecdotes, and minor episodes, affording us a bigger picture of events that we now understand to be transformative."
British historian Merridale (Red Fortress: History and Illusion in the Kremlin, 2013, etc.) fills a lacuna in the canonical record of Soviet communism. Read full book review >
RICHARD NIXON by John A. Farrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 2017

"Full of fresh, endlessly revealing insights into Nixon's political career, less on the matter of his character, refreshingly, than on the events that accompanied and resulted from it."
A sturdy study of the man ranked at the bottom of many historians' lists of presidents. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: March 21, 2017

"A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure."
Sexual expression, obscenity, contraception, and abortion are the focus of this wide-ranging legal, political, and social history. Read full book review >
IKE AND MCCARTHY by David A. Nichols
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 21, 2017

"A thorough, well-written, and surprising picture of a man who was much more than a 'do-nothing' president."
New insight into Dwight Eisenhower's silent methods of facing down enemies, particularly Joseph McCarthy. Read full book review >
THE GULF by Jack E. Davis
HISTORY
Released: March 14, 2017

"An elegant narrative braced by a fierce, sobering environmental conviction."
A sweeping environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico that duly considers the ravages of nature and man. Read full book review >

BLITZED by Norman Ohler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Written with dramatic flair (Ohler has published several novels in Germany), this book adds significantly to our understanding of the Third Reich."
An intense chronicle of "systematic drug abuse" in Nazi Germany. Read full book review >
FALLEN GLORY by James Crawford
HISTORY
Released: March 7, 2017

"A well-written prize for students of history, archaeology, and urban planning."
A searching survey of some of humankind's greatest architectural accomplishments. Read full book review >
THE NOVEL OF THE CENTURY by David Bellos
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2017

"Anyone who loves Hugo, France, and the French language will revel in this delightful book that explains all the intimacies of 19th-century French life."
A renowned French translator explores the life and legacy of Les Misérables. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"There are countless kernels of amazing achievement and courage throughout this jam-packed, engaging history."
A history of the federal push to bolster women's rights from successive presidents since John F. Kennedy—and the resulting clashes with traditional conservative constituencies. Read full book review >
HOMO DEUS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A relentlessly fascinating book that is sure to become—and deserves to be—a bestseller."
In an intellectually provocative follow-up to Sapiens (2015), Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) looks to the future. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"The Robbins controversy featured arguments about alien rights, asylum, national identity, and the meaning and scope of American citizenship, all of which persist and all of which Ekirch handles with remarkable dexterity."
A historian revisits a little-remembered incident, the murderous 1797 mutiny aboard HMS Hermione, and traces its startling ramifications. Read full book review >
CONVERGENCE by Peter Watson
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Those who reject the idea of convergence outright may not get far in this book, but readers with no objection to a sweeping, entirely fascinating history of science during the last 200 years will find an abundance of enlightening material."
The journalist and polymath delivers a delightful exploration of "the deepest idea in the universe." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >