History Book Reviews

THE WICKED BOY by Kate Summerscale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"This well-written story is not so much a true-crime tale or murder mystery as an excellent sociological study of turn-of-the-20th-century England."
An investigation of a late-19th-century crime in which a 13-year-old boy murdered his mother. Read full book review >
EYE OF THE SIXTIES by Judith E. Stein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"A shadowy figure of the 1960s art world is gloriously revealed."
An in-depth biography of influential art gallery dealer Richard Bellamy (1927-1998). Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"Historians will appreciate the wide research and the serious look at the voice of the common man and occasional woman. Fitz shows that history is not always written by wars, treaties, and administrative actions; often, the people take the lead."
An examination of the first 50 years of United States history in relation to South America. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"A convincing argument that the most secure way to communicate is via snail mail."
The history of cyberespionage, combining "related stories like encryption and code-breaking [and] the rise of the computer industry and its complex relationship with the secret world." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"Anyone with the slightest curiosity about ancient classics will love this book. Shelve next to the work of Mary Beard."
A grand "traverse of classical civilization." Read full book review >

CATULLUS' BEDSPREAD by Daisy Dunn
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"A fresh, knowledgeable introduction to life, love, war, and rivalries in ancient Rome."
The short life of Rome's first lyric poet. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 5, 2016

"A book every serious World War II student will want."
An in-depth study of the clash of the Japanese and Allied navies in Leyte Gulf, possibly the greatest naval battle of the 20th century. Read full book review >
JACOBITES by Jacqueline Riding
HISTORY
Released: July 1, 2016

"Riding provides an exciting account of a doomed rebellion and ably explores the psyche of the fierce, devoted Highlanders."
Riding (Mid-Georgian Britain: 1740-69, 2010, etc.), a specialist in 18th-century British history and culture, delivers a comprehensive history of the events of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. Read full book review >
ANGELA MERKEL by Matthew Qvortrup
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 2016

"This eye-opening biography, drawing from rich behind-the-scenes knowledge, is necessary reading for anyone who wants to broaden his or her perspective on the world today."
A biography of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (b. 1954) that provides insight and clarity into Germany's often underreported role in shaping the European political landscape. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 30, 2016

"In a book that is more nuanced and far more entertaining that the revelations of Edward Snowden, Budiansky does not ignore the NSA's accomplishments but reveals plenty of unsettling behavior that has so far persuaded Congress and the president, always anxious to demonstrate their patriotism, to enact mild reforms."
A skillful history of America's World War II code-breaking and the rise of the National Security Agency. Read full book review >
HITLER'S COMPROMISES by Nathan Stoltzfus
HISTORY
Released: June 28, 2016

"A lucid work of historical argumentation that succeeds in establishing compromise as a crucial instrument in Hitler's political arsenal."
An in-depth examination of the tactical compromises Hitler made in order to consolidate power. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2016

"A cogent, detailed policy review, effectively studded with first-person recollections, that probably won't sway Obama's conservative critics."
A measured insider's account of President Barack Obama's foreign policy, arguing that the very aspects that bring conservative derision represent subtle, long-term strengths. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >