History Book Reviews (page 10)

RUSSIANS by Gregory Feifer
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"Dark but skillfully painted pictures at an exhibition."
Former NPR Moscow correspondent Feifer (The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 2009) returns with an analysis of the Russian character derived from his family history and many years of research and travels. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"An almost flawlessly conducted tour back to a time when major American cities dreamed big."
A deputy editor at the Boston Globe recalls the visionaries, moneymen, engineering wizards, and the economic and political struggles behind the creation of the subway in America. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"A story of infrastructure told on a human scale and a trenchant reminder that the modern metropolis comes with high risks and savage costs."
Sprawling account of a preventable tragedy during the gigantic cleanup of Boston Harbor. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 17, 2014

"A wonderful story of a woman who managed to achieve independence and leave her mark in a world not quite ready for her."
Biography of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1875-1879), who fought against the conventions of her time in "a country that lauded self-interest and self-fulfillment for its men but confinement and sacrifice for their wives." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 15, 2014

"Somewhat entertaining but lightweight stroll through some of the chemical underpinnings of the modern world."
Personal observations on how the use of seven elements has shaped human civilizations. Read full book review >

THE YEARS OF ZERO by Seng Ty
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 14, 2014

A survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime tells his story. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A four-millennia trajectory that nearly overwhelms with its incremental magnitude."
British calligrapher Clayton (Arts, Design and Media/Univ. of Sunderland) embarks on an enormous undertaking: the history of the written word. Read full book review >
NOT I by Joachim Fest
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 11, 2014

"A beautifully written and translated work that creates rare, subtle portraits of Germans."
A stunning portrait of a strenuously anti-Nazi family in Berlin who managed to hang on to their moral convictions during the brutalizing Hitler years. Read full book review >
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 >
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 >