History Book Reviews

THE FRENCH REVOLUTION by Ian Davidson
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"An invaluable history of the French Revolution and its repercussions through the years."
What we don't know about the French Revolution could fill a book; Davidson (Voltaire: A Life, 2010, etc.) has done just that—in spades. Read full book review >
THE WARS OF THE ROOSEVELTS by William J. Mann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Perhaps best known for his popular film biographies and histories, and thus no stranger to tales of scandal and coverup, feuds and intrigue, Mann writes sympathetically about all the Roosevelts but particularly the black sheep, the nonconformists whose births into this powerful family imposed special burdens."
A compulsively readable account of the decadeslong rivalries, grudges, and battles between and within the Roosevelt families of Oyster Bay and Hyde Park. Read full book review >

THE MAN WITH THE POISON GUN by Serhii Plokhy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A thrilling, well-researched tale of espionage that has all the spycraft hallmarks of a blockbuster movie."
The story of Ukrainian Bogdan Stashinsky's rise from an agricultural student to a KGB assassin who defected to the West in 1961. Read full book review >
EIGHT FLAVORS by Sarah Lohman
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"A tantalizing look at flavors of the American table that foodies will absolutely devour."
A tasty historical study of flavorful mainstays of American cuisine. Read full book review >
THE RISE OF ATHENS by Anthony Everitt
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 6, 2016

"Nearly 500 pages of names, plots, betrayals, battles, and murders may be more than some readers want to know about ancient Greece, but Everitt keeps the action moving, making this a worthy alternative to the classic doorstop, Will Durant's The Life of Greece (1939)."
A thick, lively popular history that tells a complex story without dumbing it down or devoting more than a modest effort to distinguishing fact from myth. Read full book review >

Marie Antoinette's Darkest Days by Will Bashor
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 2016

"Impressive, well-researched, useful, and accessible, though some readers may feel that the book's sympathies for the doomed queen remain misplaced."
This scholarly work thoroughly documents Marie Antoinette's imprisonment, trial, and execution. Read full book review >
RECOLLECTIONS by Olivier Zunz
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"In many ways as relevant as the day it was written and great fun to read."
A shrewd, on-the-ground account of how political change is made—and unmade—by the author of Democracy in America. Read full book review >
THE MAYOR OF MOGADISHU by Andrew Harding
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A beautifully rendered narrative and characterization portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand."
A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray into the tumultuous history of Somalia as lived by an intriguing impresario and activist. Read full book review >
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE by David France
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"A lucid, urgent updating of Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On (1987) and a fine work of social history."
How scientists and citizens banded together to lift the death sentence from AIDS. Read full book review >
THE PURSUIT OF POWER by Richard J. Evans
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"An immensely readable work that considers incremental continental developments up to the outbreak of war in 1914."
A 100-year survey of European history that moves by transnational themes emphasizing "power"—over industrialization, class, selfhood, wages, and nature. Read full book review >
MEDIEVAL EUROPE by Chris Wickham
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"Far-ranging, fluent, and thoughtful—of considerable interest to students of history writ large, and not just of Europe."
A thorough survey of the European continent in the time between antiquity and modernity. Read full book review >
TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE by Philippe Girard
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"A groundbreaking biography that underscores the difficulties of leading slaves to freedom and avoiding violent extremes."
A biography of the man who challenged the power of the leading empires of his day and led the only successful slave revolt in human history. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >