RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThrough the remarkably skillful use of intimate diaries as well as public documents, some newly released, Larson has transformed the well-known record of 12 turbulent months, stretching from May of 1940 through May of 1941, into a book that is fresh, fast and deeply moving ... These small, forgotten stories, which Larson uses to such moving effect, make it possible for us to understand, even 80 years later, what made hearts race and break, and are best told by the people who experienced them, not only in a war room surrounded by military advisers but also in a London walk-up, alone ... The Blitz — its tense, terror-filled days, the horrors it inflicted — is palpable throughout this book, often by way of the kind of wrenching, carefully chosen facts that not only bring a story to life but also make a reader stop, look up and say to whoever happens to be nearby, \'Listen to this.\'
RaveThe New York TimesIt is almost impossible to write a book in which Theodore Roosevelt plays a supporting role. If he’s in it, he’s the star ... The Crowded Hour is a rare exception to this rule. In Clay Risen’s fast-paced, carefully researched new history of Roosevelt’s regiment of Rough Riders, which dazzled Americans during the Spanish-American War, the future president may be in the thick of the action, but he does not monopolize the story, quietly stepping aside for long stretches of time. In his place appears an irresistible cast of characters...It quickly becomes clear, however, that the book’s central character is neither Roosevelt nor any of these men. It is the brash young country they dared the world to dismiss ... Risen...is a gifted storyteller who brings context to the chaos of war. The Crowded Hour feels like the best type of war reporting — told with a clarity that takes nothing away from the horrors of the battlefield.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn the hands of Yunte Huang, however, Chang and Eng’s story becomes more than a biography. Inseparable is a thoughtful, scholarly, wide-ranging meditation on what it means to be human ... In Chang and Eng, Huang has taken on a complex subject. To help explain the twins’ place not just in their own world but in ours as well, he enlists the help of anthropologists, botanists, novelists, essayists and philosophers. He crosses continents, centuries and fields of study, quoting everyone from Thomas Hobbes and David Hume to Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe, to name only a few.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewBy explaining Custer’s life without constantly looking over his shoulder at the fate that awaits him, even going so far as relegating the Battle of the Little Bighorn to the epilogue, Stiles has perhaps given him a measure of redemption.