History Book Reviews (page 6)

I HEARD MY COUNTRY CALLING by James Webb
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 20, 2014

"An eloquent military memoir in which the author seems to be grooming for his next move: What will it be?"
Former Virginia senator Webb (A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America, 2008, etc.) employs hard lessons from his own life to explain his reasons for not seeking re-election in 2012. Read full book review >
JERUSALEM UNBOUND by Michael Dumper
HISTORY
Released: May 27, 2014

"Dumper's partiality toward the Palestinians is obvious, and this book provides a solid counterpoint to Caroline Glick's recent manifesto, The Israeli Solution."
After almost 25 years of studying Jerusalem, Dumper (Middle East Politics/Univ. of Exeter; The Future for Palestinian Refugees, 2007, etc.) lays out a clear picture, with plenty of maps, showing the rat's maze of boundaries in the holy city. Read full book review >

NORTH KOREA by Paul French
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 27, 2014

"An astute work that examines all facets of this Orwellian state."
A thorough probing of the ongoing causes behind North Korea's "march of misery." Read full book review >
THE LITERARY CHURCHILL by Jonathan Rose
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 27, 2014

"Rose's swift, incisive narrative portrays Churchill as a brilliant, if flawed, manipulator of political theater and a star of a tumultuous long-running drama: the history of the British Empire."
A study of the statesman that demonstrates how "literature can illuminate political behavior in ways that more conventional methodologies cannot." Read full book review >
VOYAGING IN STRANGE SEAS by David Knight
HISTORY
Released: May 27, 2014

"Essentially the story of the West's spectacular development, told by a knowledgeable, patient teacher."
A wide swath of scientific developments since the Renaissance era, densely packed and surprisingly accessible. Read full book review >

BECOMING FREUD by Adam Phillips
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 27, 2014

"A clear and engaging—though sometimes tendentious—summary of some key moments in an intellectual life."
A psychoanalyst and translator of Freud summarizes the connections between Freud's life and his creation of psychoanalysis. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 1, 2014

"Although an academic, Worthington writes clearly, so readers looking to learn the latest historical view of two ancient immortals will be satisfied."
Most histories extolling Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) pay modest attention to his father, Philip II (382-336 B.C.), but Worthington (History and Classical Studies/Univ. of Missouri; Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece, 2012, etc.) gives him equal billing in this admirable, scholarly dual biography concentrating on politics and battles. Read full book review >
THE GESTAPO by Carsten Dams
HISTORY
Released: June 1, 2014

"An engrossing academic taxonomy of evil."
A measured yet chilling overview of the organization and politics of Nazi Germany's notorious core. Read full book review >
CATALOGING THE WORLD by Alex Wright
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2014

"Wright ends his illuminating story in the present, where Otlet's thoughts about the connection of information to knowledge, and knowledge to insight, are still urgent."
The story of Paul Otlet (1868-1944), Belgian librarian and utopian visionary, who, long before the digital age, dreamed of a worldwide repository of media, accessible to all. Read full book review >
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF AMNESIA by Louisa Lim
HISTORY
Released: June 2, 2014

"A forceful reminder that only by dealing with its own past truthfully will China shape a decent future for coming generations."
NPR's veteran China correspondent Lim shows how the 1989 massacre of student human rights protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square continues to shape the country today. Read full book review >
GOTHAM UNBOUND by Ted Steinberg
HISTORY
Released: June 3, 2014

"Richly researched and illustrated—a wholly edifying account."
Steinberg (History and Law/Case Western Reserve Univ.; American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, 2006, etc.) returns with an illuminating text that adheres strictly and powerfully to its subtitle. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 3, 2014

"A gossipy, revealing story of the doomed Russian family's fairy tale life told by an expert in the field."
The daughters of Czar Nicholas II and Alexandra are just the right subjects for Rappaport's (A Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death That Changed the British Monarchy, 2012, etc.) specialties in Russian and 19th-century women's history. Read full book review >