History Book Reviews (page 9)

CURED by Nathalia Holt
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 27, 2014

"An astute AIDS retrospective blended with contemporary updates on aggressive medical strategies."
A fascinating discourse on how medical science is zeroing in on an HIV vaccine after several anomalous triumphs. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"Levin manages to tell the story clearly without provocative bias while pointing out how the entire world demonstrated their incredulity at the absurdity of the entire episode."
A page-turning history/true-crime story surrounding the myth of blood libel, the idea that "Jews commit ritual murder to obtain Christian blood" to use in Passover rites. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"What could have been a silly exposé of Paris, hypnotism and detection is instead a well-constructed, informative work by a talented author."
International journalist and Washington Post nonfiction book editor Levingston (Historic Ships of San Francisco, 1984) uses the story of a murder by a foolish girl and her lover to illustrate another side of belle epoque Paris. Read full book review >
FAISAL I OF IRAQ by Ali A. Allawi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"A misunderstood sharif finds a worthy, erudite biographer in Allawi."
From Baghdad-born Allawi (Research Professor/National Univ. of Singapore; The Crisis of Islamic Civilization, 2009, etc.), a reverent, stirring life of the Arab nationalist, friend of T.E. Lawrence and first monarch of Iraq. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"A text sure to give atheists some data and believers another annoyance."
How and why atheism, which has a long and little-known history, has contributed substantially to many of the more humane and enjoyable aspects of the modern world. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 25, 2014

"An impressive combination of mystery, crime story, and social and political history."
Few works of fiction will grab readers' attention as well as Jager's (The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France, 2004) riveting story of a 1407 murder mystery that split the royal family of France. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 24, 2014

"Readers looking for dramatic accounts of specific bombing missions should read a selection of books by British military historian Martin Middlebrook. For a far more expansive view that includes those on the receiving end, Overy is the choice."
Historians still argue over how much, if at all, strategic bombing contributed to defeating Hitler. This magisterial overview will not end the debate, but it skillfully illuminates all sides. Read full book review >
ELIOT NESS by Douglas Perry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 24, 2014

"Despite minor flaws, there is much to learn and enjoy for crime-solving fans and American history buffs."
A thorough recounting of the career of Eliot Ness (1903-1957), from humble beginning to humble ending, with spectacular fame in between. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"For readers who enjoy the stories of the sensationalistic press of the 1930s and its crass exploitation of the details of horrific murders; not for fans of clever police work or investigative reporting."
The fiendish story of "mad sculptor" Robert Irwin (1908-1975), featuring "the kind of lurid goings-on that speak to the secret dreams and dangerous desires of the public." Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"A vigorous, fully fleshed biography of an important contributor to American culture."
A significant reappraisal of a cultural icon and crucial booster of modern artists, especially African-American artists. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"An erudite opus demanding substantial patience, intelligence and education from its readers."
Journalist and intellectual historian Watson (The Great Divide: Nature and Human Nature in the Old World and the New, 2012, etc.) analyzes what people have done to supplant or supplement religion since Nietzsche declared the death of God in the late 19th century. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"Ably directs readers back to the primary works of Thoreau and his contemporaries."
Delving into the observations of people around Thoreau, such as family, other transcendentalists and townspeople, as well as the famed writer's works, Sims (The Story of Charlotte's Web: E.B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic, 2011, etc.) aims to flesh out this uniquely American genius. Read full book review >