History Book Reviews (page 10)

THE QUEEN'S BED by Anna Whitelock
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"This chockablock, scholarly portrait invites further interest in this endlessly alluring queen."
Densely erudite, intriguing take on Queen Elizabeth I's very public private life. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"An intellectually interesting comparison in the same way that comparative histories of revolutions are interesting; there's blood and passion in all that madness, but it doesn't always land on the page."
An atheistic novelist temporarily abandons his fiction to examine the roots and history of belief. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A thorough account of an actual "Renaissance man"—in every way."
Cultural historian Witham (Picasso and the Chess Player: Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp and the Battle for the Soul of Modern Art, 2013, etc.) returns with a wide-ranging account of the life, work and legacy of Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca (1412–1492). Read full book review >
SLAVERY'S EXILES by Sylviane A. Diouf
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A neglected chapter of the American slave experience brought sensitively and vividly to life."
A curator at the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture reconstructs the lives of blacks who sought freedom and self-determination on the margins of an American slave society. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"How Dr. Strangelove came to America and thrived, told in graphic detail."
The story of how perpetrators of World War II were treated as spoils of war, brought to light with new information in this diligent report. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"An important discourse that is not always easy to follow due to its abstract nature—will be most useful for an academic audience."
Marsden (Emeritus, History/Univ. of Notre Dame; Jonathan Edwards: A Life, 2003, etc.) employs historical analysis to suggest why the United States is so badly split between secular-oriented intellectuals and religiously doctrinaire church leaders, a split that seems to have harmed the nation's moral character, forged during World War II. Read full book review >
DARK INVASION by Howard Blum
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"Instructive, yes, but also as engrossing as good detective fiction."
Terrifically engaging and pertinent tale of the New York City bomb squad that foiled German terrorist plots against the United States at the outbreak of World War I. Read full book review >
THE LEADING INDICATORS by Zachary Karabell
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"Readers of this intelligent introduction to iconic economic indices will agree that Karabell makes an excellent case."
Our leaders regularly agonize over unemployment figures, the consumer price index, gross national product and the balance of trade. These and other leading indicators are important but also overrated, writes journalist and Reuters "Edgy Optimist" columnist Karabell (Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World's Prosperity Depends on It, 2009) in this lucid measurement of how the United States is faring. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"The events at Fukushima provided a graphic warning of the dangers posed by nuclear power; the most important question asked by this book is, what will be done about them?"
Technical reports written by committee are almost always dull affairs; this is an exception. Read full book review >
STALIN by Paul Johnson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"Whether the book can remedy that situation is unknown, as well, but as informed opinion, it's very satisfying."
Slender character study of "one of the outstanding monsters civilization has yet produced." Read full book review >
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by Elizabeth Kolbert
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A highly significant eye-opener rich in facts and enjoyment."
New Yorker staff writer Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, 2006, etc.) returns with a deft examination of the startling losses of the sixth mass extinction occurring at this moment and the sobering, underlying cause: humans. Read full book review >
READING DANTE by Prue Shaw
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2014

"Read this book to discover Dante the man, the pilgrim and the poet. Then go read his greatest poem. He's well-worth the exploration, and Shaw is a Virgil-like guide."
Dante expert Shaw (Emeritus, Italian Studies/Univ. Coll. London; editor: Dante: Monarchy, 1996) explains The Divine Comedy so easily and simply, she eliminates all trepidation in anyone daunted by his masterpiece, "the greatest poem of the Middle Ages and perhaps the greatest single work of Western literature." Read full book review >