RaveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Scurr has ingeniously somehow found an entirely new prism through which to view Napoleon ... Dr Scurr takes the opportunity to discourse on numerous aspects of Napoleon and the natural world, and has ultimately produced a somewhat eccentric but immensely satisfying and captivating book ... \'There is always something new to say,\' Scurr says of Napoleon, \'no matter how many regiments of biographers have marched across the same ground.\' With this charming and intelligent book about a hitherto entirely unexamined aspect of the Bonapartist epic, she persuades us of this comforting truth.
RaveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)Although Hitler and Stalin uses all the significant sources one would expect in a scholarly work, time and again it is the brand new personal testimony that has never appeared before in print that rivets the reader ... Of course, Rees is far too experienced an historian to take all of this at face value ... As this book brilliantly shows, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin were blood brothers.
RaveAir MailLarson has done it again ... he hugely best-selling author has once more captured an iconic historical moment and brought it vividly to life in near-novelistic prose, yet without inventing a single thing. Dry-as-dust historians, often in the Academy, have a great deal to learn from writers such as Larson, who are introducing the public to the splendor and terror of the past in vast numbers without compromising one iota on fact ... Larson makes excellent use of the diary of Mary Soames ... Larson does fine work in countering many revisionist myths about Churchill ... For however zippy is Mr. Larson’s prose—there are 101 chapters in 608 pages—facts are sacrosanct to him ... As I read this book, I kept wondering what the swelling of powerful emotion was that I felt, sometimes in an almost physical sense. (I’m a naturally undemonstrative Englishman, rarely moved by words on a printed page.) Then I realized that, as a Londoner, it was a feeling of overwhelming pride in my poor, brave, battered old city, which stood up to the very worst that Hitler could throw at it for months on end, while still somehow keeping its dignity, cheerfulness, and iron resolve not to surrender.
PositiveAir Mail... [an] excellent book ... by the end of this well-researched and highly readable book readers will appreciate how very fortunate Britain was to have such brave and resourceful men and women working in the shadows to protect her at her moment of maximum peril.
RaveThe TelegraphWith this fourth volume, The Passage of Power, [Caro\'s biography] leaps into non-fiction’s most heady mainstream, with a true story of huge personalities, bloody assassinations, loves, hatreds and betrayals (and the Kennedy family) that renders it by turns gripping, sensational and immensely depressing ... We will probably have to wait till around 2022 for Caro’s concluding volume of this magisterial series, but as he has shown four times already, and doubtless will a fifth: perfection takes time.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... comprises a straightforward narrative of the main events along the road to war, but it also includes welcome insights into why the policy of appeasement proved to be so disastrous ... Mr. Bouverie has been diligent in researching the sources—it appears that he visited more than 60 archives—and has an eye for the telling anecdote and aperçu ... Mr. Bouverie’s chronicle recaptures the raw, rough and occasionally vicious moments when normally polite High Society bared its teeth at the anti-appeasers for daring to oppose the central policy of their darling, Chamberlain. Even Brexit has nothing on it ... Mr. Bouverie is excellent at knocking away the appeasers’ ex post facto arguments about how the British Empire and public opinion didn’t want war in 1938, how the armed forces needed the extra year to rearm, how no one knew how untrustworthy Hitler was until he marched into Prague, and so on ... The appeasement story and its lessons are ones for the ages.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalMuch of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones ... Meanwhile, this superb summation of four centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalThe author clearly admires much about Richard but also give the reader plenty of reasons to conclude that Shakespeare was essentially right, since the king consistently went wildly beyond the norms of even what was considered politically acceptable at the time ... Mr. Skidmore is adept at placing in proper perspective the dilemmas that faced Richard when his brother unexpectedly died at age 40 ... Mr. Skidmore does an excellent job of showing how Richard’s options progressively closed down the further he got into the machinations necessary to keep himself in power ... this highly readable chronicle comprises vaulting ambition, familial betrayal, moral corruption, high politics, foul murder and a beautiful queen lusting for revenge.