History Book Reviews (page 3)

NO END SAVE VICTORY by David Kaiser
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 8, 2014

"An admiring, richly textured portrait of a leader confronting the unthinkable."
In the years leading up to World War II, America was fortunate to have Franklin Roosevelt as president, a prescient leader who anticipated our inevitable entry into the global conflict most Americans wanted to avoid. Read full book review >
ALEX'S WAKE by Martin Goldsmith
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"A well-researched, thorough reckoning of this shameful past."
A child of persecuted German Jews remembers his tormented, perished forebears—and makes peace with the country that hounded them to death. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"A fast-paced history of the singular idea that shaped a multitude of modern achievements."
In the mid-17th century, debate raged over a mathematical concept of the infinitely small—and nothing less than modernity as we know it was at stake. Read full book review >
BLOOD BROTHERHOODS by John Dickie
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"These "men of honor" and "lads with attitude" created their own myths. Until Dickie's revelatory book, most believed them."
Call them Camorra, 'Ndrangheta or Mafia: All of these "honored societies" emerged from the dirty politics of Italian unification. Dickie's (Italian Studies/Univ. College, London; Delizia! The Epic History of Italians and Their Food, 2007, etc.) absorbing history of the Italian mob makes The Godfather look like a fairy tale. Read full book review >
REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA, 1891-1991 by Orlando Figes
HISTORY
Released: April 8, 2014

"As ever, highly readable and of tremendous interest to students not just of Russian history, but also of modern geopolitics—and not least due to the fact that Soviet heir Vladimir Putin remains in power."
The dean of contemporary Russian studies—and a gifted popularizer—ventures a refreshing thesis that joins the fondest dreams of the Bolsheviks to the full-circle collapse of the Soviet Empire. Read full book review >

THE MYTH OF THE STRONG LEADER by Archie Brown
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 8, 2014

"A sure-handed historical review with an engaging viewpoint."
Brown (Emeritus, Politics/Oxford Univ.; The Rise and Fall of Communism, 2009, etc.) addresses an apparent paradox in attitudes about political leaders. Read full book review >
A TASTE FOR INTRIGUE by Philip Short
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 8, 2014

"No hagiographer, Short delivers a clear, useful picture of his subject and his country."
An accessible biography of François Mitterrand (1916-1996), the first popularly elected socialist president, whose life "mirrored the contradictions and compromises of the times in which he lived." Read full book review >
THE REMEDY by Thomas Goetz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 7, 2014

"A beguiling real-life medical detective story."
The story of a pair of unlikely heroes who crossed paths in Berlin in 1890 and forever changed the landscapes of medicine and literature. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2014

"Solid research with wide appeal."
Intriguing exploration of how the Buddha's story was appropriated across languages and cultures into a legendary Christian saint. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2014

"The author succinctly explains each of these constitutions with the thoroughness of a legal mind and writing that avoids legalese."
Tsai (Law/American Univ.; Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture, 2008, etc.) examines eight instances of dissenting constitutions written by groups representing cultural attitudes out of the norm seeking unconventional sovereignty. Read full book review >
THE EMBRACE OF UNREASON by Frederick Brown
HISTORY
Released: April 4, 2014

"Read this illuminating book to see frightening similarities to the early years of the 21st century. The lies, innuendo, invented evidence and baseless arguments are all too familiar."
The author of Zola (1995) and Flaubert (2006) once again demonstrates his profound knowledge of French history, its people and their psyche. Read full book review >
TIANANMEN EXILES by Rowena Xiaoqing He
HISTORY
Released: April 2, 2014

"A compelling account of idealism and the price it exacts."
Oral history of the monthlong student protest in Tiananmen Square and similar demonstrations throughout the country, based on interviews with three leaders of the movement brutally shut down by the Chinese government. Read full book review >