History Book Reviews (page 3)

LIBERALISM by Edmund Fawcett
HISTORY
Released: May 4, 2014

"A pool of profound, rigorous research and thought that has no shallow end."
Former longtime Economist correspondent Fawcett (co-author: The American Condition, 1982) charts the versions and vagaries of liberalism from the 1830s to the present. Read full book review >
THE NOVEL by Michael Schmidt
HISTORY
Released: May 5, 2014

""I set out to write this book without an overarching theory of the novel," Schmidt admits. "I had no point to prove." He does, however, prove his wide-ranging reading tastes, his ability to weave a colorful literary tapestry and his conviction that the novel is irrepressible."
Writers, reading, invigorate the novel. That is both the theme and plot of Schmidt's (Poetry/Glasgow Univ.; The Stories of My Life, 2013, etc.) encyclopedic compendium tracing the novel over 700 years. Read full book review >

THE HOUSE WITH SIXTEEN HANDMADE DOORS by Henry Petroski
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2014

"Petroski, too, has an unerring eye for detail, which makes this admirably crafted book a delight to read."
Revealing the secrets of a quirky house. Read full book review >
BIRDMEN by Lawrence Goldstone
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"A powerful story that contrasts soaring hopes with the anchors of ego and courtroom."
At the dawn of powered flight, the warfare for the air was as intense, if not as sanguinary, as war in the air would one day become. Read full book review >
SUPREME CITY by Donald L. Miller
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"A scholarly enough social history but one with plenty of sex appeal."
An award-winning historian surveys the astonishing cast of characters who helped turn Manhattan into the world capital of commerce, communication and entertainment. Read full book review >

FRACTURED TIMES by Eric Hobsbawm
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 6, 2014

"Hobsbawm speaks to the crucial need for engaged public intellectuals and the kind of rigorous social and political analysis so well represented by these urgent and important essays."
The last writings of an eminent British historian. Read full book review >
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS by Fred Kaplan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"A lofty work that may propel readers back to Quincy Adams' own ardent writings."
In this elegant study, Kaplan (Emeritus, English/Queens Coll.; Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer, 2008, etc.) portrays our sixth president as a deeply literary man, devout husband, orator, diplomat and teacher who had grand plans for the country's future, including the building of national infrastructure and the abolition of slavery. Read full book review >
REAGAN AT REYKJAVIK by Ken Adelman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"More personalities than arms arcana, infused by a deep reverence for his man."
Effectively focused, vividly adept portraits of two newsmakers at the pinnacles of their relevance on the world stage. Read full book review >
A TROUBLESOME INHERITANCE by Nicholas Wade
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"A freethinking and well-considered examination of the evidence "that human evolution is recent, copious, and regional.""
Deploying his natural science background, New York Times journalist Wade (The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures, 2009, etc.) strides into the political minefield of genetic influence on racial differences. Read full book review >
JAMES MADISON by Lynne Cheney
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 6, 2014

"A proficiently argued account for Madison's greatness, but it lacks the political thrusts of Garry Wills, Richard Brookhiser and other historians."
A Founding Father gets a respectful reappraisal. Read full book review >
AMERICAN SPRING by Walter R. Borneman
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"Although Kevin Phillips (1775) and Nathaniel Philbrick (Bunker Hill) have recently trod the same ground, Borneman adds a first-rate contribution."
An extremely detailed, opinionated account of events in 1775 Massachusetts ending (despite the title) two months after the famous skirmishes in the June Battle of Bunker Hill. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 6, 2014

"A glut of information impedes a view of the forest for the many trees."
A revision and amplification of the position of German defensive battlements on the Normandy beaches widens and deepens the questions surrounding the Overlord operation. Read full book review >