RaveBookPageEnthralling ... Egan skillfully leads readers through the horrifying experiences of Oberholtzer and a handful of other beleaguered klan opponents ... An important chapter in an ongoing history.
PositiveBookPageAbsorbing... Tabor tells this history seamlessly through key individuals ... Progress has been halting. The Mobile city government is happy to install laudatory plaques but reluctant to spend the money for real preservation. But the spiritual and biological descendants of that first Africatown generation, dragged from their homes and enslaved by racist white criminals, push on.
PositiveBookPageThoughtful, gorgeously written ... Pleasantly digressive.
RaveBookPage... an information-packed short history that argues for their preservation and restoration ... As a nonscientist, Proulx explains in accessible language how fens, bogs and swamps differ by water level and vegetation, and how crucial each of these ecosystems is to a balanced environment ... One of Proulx’s chapters is called \'Discursive Thoughts on Wetlands,\' which sums up her approach. She ranges widely, both thematically and geographically, from the small Limberlost Swamp in Indiana to the huge Vasyugan Swamp in Siberia. She considers plenty of archaeology, history and literaturealong the way, sprinkling in reminiscences of her own wetland encounters as well.
Michael K. Williams
RaveBookPagePoignant, vivid ... His memoir offers relatively few details about his acting career, drug use or romantic relationships. Instead, it is a sensitive exploration of his journey to become an advocate for young people from backgrounds like his who get stuck in the school-to-prison pipeline.
PositiveBookPage... absorbing ... Gayle blends that story with his own encounters with racism and his personal identity: Is he Jamaican or Black? The Black Creeks’ ongoing legal fight to reclaim Creek heritage has inspired him to reexamine his own perspective, he writes. He is Black and Jamaican and American, just as the Black Creeks are \'fully Black and fully Creek.\' The United States, he argues passionately, would be a richer, more beautiful society if we recognized and honored those complexities.
PositiveBookPage... an astute biography of that marriage, with wonderfully dishy details of productions such as Rebecca and A Streetcar Named Desire ... Anyone who loves the dramatic arts will be engrossed by Galloway’s perceptive history of this iconic duo.
PositiveBookPageMurders, kidnappings, perilous escapes, suicide missions, poisoned knives, marriage plots, witchcraft allegations: This book has them all ... Puhak doesn’t pretend these women weren’t ruthless in their pursuit of power, but she also acknowledges the misogynist social and political context that shaped them. Most of all, The Dark Queens demonstrates that Brunhild’s and Fredegund’s names deserve to be in the historical annals as much as any king’s.
RaveBookPage... a poignant, charming, thought-provoking, funny and ultimately sad exploration of Albania’s journey from socialism to liberalism through a child’s eyes ... Ypi’s book is filled with wonderful humor.
PositiveBookPageMuch of the book is devoted to the evolution of Washington and Franklin from staunch Britons to unlikely leaders in the movement for independence. But Franklin’s sad family history is equally intriguing ... Brands also shows that the British were their own worst enemies, treating sincere compromise efforts with arrogant contempt, then ignoring informed advice from Loyalists over the war’s conduct ... Brands shows how fraught and complicated it was for the generation that lived through it, a perspective well worth considering amid our current divisions.
RaveBookPage...absorbing ... The immigrant experience described by Mouallem will sound familiar to many Americans: the desire by the first generation to assimilate, followed by a rediscovery of roots by their children, then a more eclectic approach by grandchildren. The mosques he visits reflect these different relationships to assimilation ... his book has made it impossible not to see this faith tradition’s rich complexity.
PositiveBookPageGallagher’s comprehensive New Women in the Old West unearths this story through the lives of dozens of forgotten trailblazers ... Gallagher’s rediscoveries are inspirational.
Daniel James Brown
RaveBookPageBrown tackles this important story with the same impressive narrative talent and research that made his 2013 book, The Boys in the Boat, an enduring bestseller ... The centerpieces of Facing the Mountain are the wrenching, on-the-ground descriptions of battles fought by the 442nd in Europe ... Many readers will feel ashamed of the bigotry these men and their families faced—but every reader will admire the resilience that allowed these soldiers to create communities within the internment camps and to play such a pivotal role in the defeat of the Nazis. Most are gone now, but their stories will live on in this empathetic tribute to their courage.
PositiveBookPage... engaging ... Muir-Harmony, a curator at the Smithsonian, draws on a rich cache of documents from NASA and the United States Information Agency, among other sources, to bring to vivid life the ground-level public relations onslaught surrounding the Apollo project ... a winning remembrance of a time when America thought big and optimistically about its role in the world.
PositiveBookPage... riveting ... All these cases were studied by doctors at the time they occurred, but Black perceptively points out that none of them ever publicly faced up to the heart of the matter.
PositiveBookPageThe history is fascinating, but what makes The Vapors a compelling—and ultimately heartwrenching—book is the author’s account of his own family, who lived in Hot Springs during the casino heyday. His grandmother Hazel Hill landed there as a teen, drifted into casino work after leaving her violent, alcoholic husband and neglected her sons as she fell into her own sad addictions. Hill tells the hard truth of her life with compassion and context.
PositiveBookPage... sensitive, insightful ... After her illuminating visits to Louisiana, Oklahoma and the Georgia-South Carolina low country, Jerkins ends in Los Angeles, where she spent part of her childhood ... moving.
RaveBookPage... Townsend continues her groundbreaking work in the field in the marvelous Fifth Sun, a dramatic and accessible narrative that tells the story as the Nahuas saw it ... helps explode denigrating myths ... Townsend [is] a first-rate writer.
PositiveBookPageEveritt, an expert storyteller, has written a riveting narrative that restores Alexander to his own context—and takes a whack at solving the remaining mysteries ... [Everitt] takes us on a spirited passage through the ancient world, from the Balkans to South Asia, with effective explanations of battles and sieges and a useful description of the ordinary Greek soldier’s experience ... Everitt is particularly perceptive about the impact of Alexander’s charismatic parents, as well as the snake-pit royal court where he was raised.
PositiveBookPage\"... a beautifully written account ... Andrews conveys his passion for the west’s landscape and inhabitants through his sensitive writing, which avoids either anthropomorphizing the wildlife or villainizing ordinary people ... [Andrews\'s] book is a testament to his compassion.\
PositiveBookPage...engaging ... at once an adventure tale and a history of ideas that continue to resonate ... Happily, Wilson-Lee’s insightful and entertaining work refreshes the memory of Colón’s sweeping vision.
RaveBookPage[An] enjoyable biography-mystery tale ... Her sex life aside, Landon was a hardworking, prolific writer of real talent, cheated and undervalued by London’s male publishing establishment. In a sensitive analysis of her work, Miller sees her as a sophisticated pioneer. Landon’s poetry seems unlikely to come back into style, but her life—at turns funny and sad, but always spirited—has enduring relevance.
PositiveBookPage\"Anolik has now written a smart, fast-paced meditation on Babitz in Hollywood’s Eve ... Anolik’s own writing is jazzy and insightful, and her quest to find Babitz—both physically and psychologically—is an integral part of the book.\
PositiveBookPageMarvelous ... This book comes at the perfect moment, as the #MeToo movement highlights sexual harassment and assault.
Eric Jay Dolin
PositiveBookkpage\"Pity poor, honest Robert Snead. A justice in colonial Philadelphia in 1697, he was determined to enforce the laws against piracy by arresting members of pirate Henry Avery’s crew. But the governor’s daughter was married to one of them. Snead’s fellow justice also had a relative married to a pirate. They blocked him at every turn. Ultimately, the sheriff let the criminals \'escape.\' A disgusted Snead gave up. In a nutshell, that’s how the so-called \'Golden Age\' of piracy from 1680-1726 became so golden ... As author Eric Jay Dolin illustrates in his gripping Black Flags, Blue Waters, colonists and pirates were \'partners in crime\'—until their interests diverged.
PositiveBookPageEisen, ambassador from 2011 to 2014, has written a genuinely exciting history of the era, seen through the lives of Frieda and four people who lived in the mansion ... Based on voluminous research, the book offers a detailed, novelistic view of stirring times and impressive characters. For all his riches, Petschek is ultimately a sad figure, unable to understand the fragility of his world.
Ethan J Kytle, Blain Roberts
RaveBookPage\"The married historians’ book Denmark Vesey’s Garden is a remarkable exploration of the radically different memories of antebellum Charleston that coexisted for 100 years ... Kytle and Roberts caution against complacency in the face of racism. Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine African-Americans in Vesey’s old church in 2015, had visited the city’s historical sites ahead of the massacre—and learned all the wrong lessons.\
Chris Feliciano Arnold
PositiveBookPageA wide-ranging panorama of this vast region in western Brazil, so full of both promise and suffering.
PositiveBookPageEnemies turned comrades, in less than a decade? Cody and Sitting Bull only worked together for a few months in 1885, but it's a fascinating chapter in the lightning-fast transition from Wild West reality to traveling circus. In her compelling Blood Brothers, Deanne Stillman, an expert on the American West, examines their lives to explore the era’s complexities … Stillman also shows that a third person was crucial to the relationship between the two men: Annie Oakley. Both were a bit in love with that remarkable woman, and her story is as riveting as theirs.
Roger D. Hodge
RaveBookPageThe legendary Texas borderland ranch culture is fading, and Hodge takes an unsparing look at how it developed, what it meant and how it’s dying in Texas Blood ... Texas Blood, a title that refers to the blood of Hodge’s ancestors and the blood of Southwestern violence, is a heady, sometimes humorous mélange of family history, memoir, research and travelogue. In the course of the book, Hodge retraces his forebears’ path south from Missouri, drives pretty much the entirety of the Rio Grande Valley, interviews border patrol agents and his grandma, hangs out with Mexican-American pilgrims at the Cristo Rey shrine and explains why Cormac McCarthy’s novels are more realistic than not.