History Book Reviews

THE ORIGINAL BLACK ELITE by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 21, 2017

"Important research on an overlooked but significant figure."
A lively work chronicling the growth of the educated African-American movers and shakers in Washington, D.C., on the brink of renewed Jim Crow laws. Read full book review >
AUDACITY by Jonathan Chait
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Chait offers a well-organized, clearly written case that will be valuable to future historians in their assessments. The question is whether readers with different opinions about Obama's performance will alter those opinions."
A cogent argument that President Barack Obama has mostly succeeded in implementing his agenda. Read full book review >

MARVELLOUS THIEVES by Paulo Lemos Horta
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"An insightful examination of a significant literary work and the fraught complexities of translation."
From its origin, the Thousand and One Nights has been frequently translated, embellished, and transformed. Read full book review >
WHY? by Peter Hayes
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"'Beware the beginnings,' admonishes a German proverb. This noteworthy book is a chilling compendium of warning signs, past and present."
How could a civilized nation have brought a self-professed racist and xenophobe to power and then stood by as millions were murdered? It's not a mystery, according to this important overview of the Shoah. Read full book review >
MODERATES by David S. Brown
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 16, 2017

"While mainly for specialists, this provocative and obviously timely analysis is an important reminder of the role that reason and compromise have played in bridging the gap between political extremes."
The moderate tradition in American politics. Read full book review >

THREE TEARLESS HISTORIES by Erich Hackl
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"These powerful inquiries spurred by photos are history made flesh, the untold lives of the mostly forgotten."
The clash of fascism and communism on two continents over half a century, as traced through a few family photographs. Read full book review >
BOP APOCALYPSE by Martin Torgoff
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A textured story of human hope and hopelessness, of artistry that blossomed in the most daunting and, in some cases, demeaning circumstances."
A comprehensive and compassionate account of the intersections of jazz, race, and drugs in mid-20th-century America. Read full book review >
WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL by John Avlon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A thoughtful consideration of Washington's wisdom that couldn't be timelier."
Why George Washington's last message proves apposite to our own time. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A passionately presented book that offers sparkling tangents for further study."
A history of the startling scientific innovations that rose to meet disconcerting troubles in revolutionary France. Read full book review >
FINKS by Joel Whitney
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Another odd episode steps out from the Cold War's shadows. Riveting."
Who would have thought that the Zen-saintly author of The Snow Leopard might have been a spook? Read full book review >
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD by Daniel Beer
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"An eye-opening, haunting work that delineates how a vast imperial penal system crumbled from its rotten core."
An elucidating study of how Russia's east was won—by hard labor. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Rapid, compelling storytelling informed by rigorous research and enlivened by fecund imagination."
The author of Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster—The Creators of Superman (2013) returns with the astonishing story of the first female U.S. district attorney. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >