Religion Book Reviews (page 11)

Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"A monumental, sobering attempt to make sense of collective insanity."
Within the extended scope of European history, coauthors of the acclaimed Auschwitz (2000) deliver a rigorously documented positioning of the persecution and murder of Jews prior to and during WWII. Read full book review >
WHY I AM A CATHOLIC by Garry Wills
Released: July 16, 2002

"Deserves—and will almost certainly find—a wide readership while garnering for Wills both praise as a principled oppositionist and condemnation as a heretic."
The prolific historian offers a timely confession of faith and an apology in the true sense of the term. Read full book review >

Released: May 2, 2002

"Contemporary Israeli poets and Arab intellectuals pine for the glories of al-Andalus, as did Federico García Lorca and Antonio Machado. So, too, does Menocal."
A resonant and timely case study of a time when followers of the three monotheisms set aside their differences and tried to get along. Read full book review >
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. by Marshall Frady
Released: Jan. 14, 2002

"Excellent, as are almost all of the volumes in the Penguin Lives series, and a fitting homage to a man now much honored but little studied."
An exemplary, brief life of the African-American leader who effected epochal changes in his 39 years. Read full book review >
STILL ALIVE by Ruth Kluger
Released: Dec. 1, 2001

"A work of such nuance, intelligence, and force that it leaps the bounds of genre."
Stunning contemplation of human relationships, power, and the creation of history through the prism of one woman's Holocaust survival. Read full book review >

STUFFED by Patricia Volk
Released: Oct. 11, 2001

"And would she ever make them proud in these pages. Emotionally luxurious and heart-gladdening. (22 photos)"
Novelist/essayist Volk (White Light, not reviewed) pens a stylishly written memoir that's really a series of portraits of the memorable characters who make up her extended family. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2001

"A rich, exciting read for the armchair Indiana Jones who longs to learn the secrets of Houdini."
A Briton of Afghan descent reveals his quest for the secret of India's greatest conjurers—a journey that takes him through several subcontinental cities and provides a humorous anthropological study of the world of Indian con artists. Read full book review >
ALFRED E. SMITH by Christopher M. Finan
Released: June 1, 2001

"Well written, thoroughly researched: likely to stand as the definitive portrait of Smith for years to come."
A rock-solid biography of the muckraking New York politician. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2001

"A splendid account, highly recommended to all readers interested in early American history, women's studies, or the history of religion."
An elegantly written life of the enigmatic and powerfully charismatic Shaker prophet. Read full book review >
Released: April 18, 2001

"A work of stunning scholarship and imagination whose appeal will be to determined readers rather than casual ones. (32 pages photographs, 16 color, not seen; 7 maps)"
A meticulous reconstruction of the final years of some persistent medieval Pyrenean heretics whose leaders—called "Perfects"—were eventually burned or otherwise dispersed by the equally relentless Inquisition. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2001

"Lucid, often surprisingly funny: a very welcome contribution to our understanding of this tragic nation."
An instructive memoir by an Afghan-American thrust into the news after September 11, 2001. Read full book review >
Released: March 20, 2001

"Literate and witty, full of memorable moments and keenly observed details: both wonderfully entertaining and highly instructive."
A superbly realized account of travels into Asia Incognita. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >