History Book Reviews

ANOTHER FINE MESS by Helen Epstein
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A sizzling indictment of Uganda's current strongman and of the American policy in Africa that supports his corrupt regime with generous foreign aid."
A valiant attempt to disentangle the many threads snarled in the continuing African tragedy. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A witty, comprehensively researched time capsule from an unforgettable age of excess, scandal, and sex."
How multiculturalism and sexual liberation shaped a distinctive decade. Read full book review >

ISTANBUL by Bettany Hughes
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A panoramic cultural history of a fascinating place."
A deeply researched biography of a legendary city, beginning in prehistory. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Rich in implication, particularly in a bellicose time, and of much interest to students of modern history and international relations."
"If law shapes real power, and ideas shape the law, then we control our fate"—a searching analysis of contending views of state violence and warfare. Read full book review >
THE GREAT SHIFT by James L. Kugel
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Biblical exegesis at its best: a brilliant and sensitive reading of ancient texts, all with an eye to making them meaningful to our time by making sense of what they meant in their own."
An inquiry into how the contemporaries of Solomon and Sheba viewed the presence of the deity and why the reality of that highly personal divine/mortal relationship changed over time. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Lively and well-grounded, offering good measures by which to judge our best and worst presidents and their methods of governing."
"Few leaders are impeached or assassinated; most die from a thousand cuts": an illuminating look at the highest office in the land and its occupants. Read full book review >
NIGHT by Elie Wiesel
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Wiesel's memoir, first published in English in 1960, has emerged as a classic work of literature from that darkest of eras, and it deserves to be read and reread for decades to come."
A reissue of Wiesel's (Open Heart, 2012, etc.) foundational, exemplary memoir of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
GORBACHEV by William Taubman
Released: Sept. 7, 2017

"An engaging, poignant portrayal of one of the most significant of Russian leaders."
The long-awaited biography of the enigmatic Soviet leader whose "new thinking" sent shock waves throughout the Soviet Union and indeed the world. Read full book review >
A RIFT IN THE EARTH by James Reston Jr.
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"The Vietnam Memorial, with Lin's wall as the centerpiece (but with a series of compromises also put in place), is one of the most striking features on the National Mall. As this relatively brief but powerful book shows, this outcome was far from a foregone conclusion."
A gripping history of the fights over how to memorialize the Vietnam War. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Although unlikely to share Merry's very high opinion of McKinley, most readers of this intelligent biography will agree that he was an astute politician and strong leader."
A fresh biography of the short-lived presidency of William McKinley (1843-1901), "an unlikely figure to be presiding over the transformation of America." Read full book review >
FANTASYLAND by Kurt Andersen
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"A spirited, often entertaining rant against things as they are."
When did Americans come to shun reality? When did the American experiment become a congeries of solipsisms? Read full book review >
GHOST EMPIRE by Richard  Fidler
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Fidler provides a palpable sense of this glittering city built as 'a mirror of heaven.'"
A history/travel guide about the fabled eastern capital of the Romans. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >