RaveBookreporter... impressive and entertaining ... Perhaps my favorite parts of the book are the challenges that the Empress and her daughters confronted for their survival ... a compelling read. Using Maria Theresa as a familial anchor point was a brilliant idea. Through these four women, readers are treated to a Forrest Gump-like journey through one of the most dynamic periods of European history. With such a storied family, one can only hope that a sequel is in the works.
RaveBookreporterA Man at Arms puts forth a story so compelling and rich in detail that you are completely absorbed in the time, the culture and the danger. The writing is beautiful, the research is impressive, and the drama --- given that most readers surely will know a part of the outcome --- is surprisingly heightened ... A Man at Arms weaves a great deal of history effortlessly into a compelling story ... I enjoyed A Man at Arms immensely. The history, the writing and the provocation posed to the reader all made the book wonderful to read and reread. I recommend it without reservation.
A. J. Baime
RaveBookreporterWell written and supremely researched, Dewey Defeats Truman identifies the key issues, the major personalities involved, and how they played out in the lead-up to the 1948 presidential election. While A. J. Baime starts off with a comparison to today’s issues, the book is strictly historical and laser-focused on the march to November 1948 ... A bit loose initially, the narrative tightens up with each turn of the page ... It is well worth the read!
RaveBookreporterExcellent topic. Excellent scope. Excellent writing ... The focused scope of the book impresses immediately. In a period when names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Hearst, Mellon and countless others roamed the landscape, Berfield assiduously concentrates on Roosevelt and Morgan. They are the drivers, the forces, the cause of action, and while others figure prominently in the story, they do so as context. She doesn’t diminish their roles, but recognizes Roosevelt and Morgan to be ultimate leaders ... The book magnificently portrays Morgan as a man who loved art and travel, despised the inefficiencies of 19th-century industry and is possessed of a will that few can match...Roosevelt’s story is equally compelling ... a strong recommendation.
RaveBookreporterRiveting. Enthralling. Rewarding...Ted Widmer has written a history book that jumps from the page ... Each strand of the story is fascinating ... Sprinkled throughout the book are marvelous Lincoln quotes and anecdotes hinting at the genius of the man that was so difficult to report in a newspaper, but so readily recognized by anyone in his presence ... a strong recommendation.
RaveBookreporter... an easy read, featuring deliciously vivid characters and a virtual buffet of cultural feasts ... It’s this authenticity that allows McBride to weave in his social commentary on all of their lives. If you love historical fiction for its ability to dress naked history with the passions, pains and joys of the time, then you will fully appreciate Deacon King Kong ... Plots and subplots are beautifully unified and brought full circle by the end of the novel. This is essentially a classic love story, leavened with the complexities of life in the projects. McBride makes you rethink traditional notions of who is good, powerful and alone. And, most importantly, what and where love is ... My first impression of Deacon King Kong was that there were too many characters too fast. But if you trust the author, he rewards you with rich descriptions to keep them all straight...By the end of the book, they will have become so real that should they ever appear in a movie, the actors almost certainly would disappoint ... Adeptly composed and written, Deacon King Kong is a funny and heartfelt tribute to those New Yorkers who no one writes or cares about. It explores more than just their indigence; it celebrates their struggles, their relationships and love. Yes, mostly love.
RaveBookreporterWhat makes a good history book? Subject matter? Writing style? ... Whatever your answer may be, Jeremy D. Popkin\'s A New World Begins qualifies ... A New World Begins does a great job of defining and describing the existing polity, the catalyst that tears it apart, and the resulting new condition that replaces it ... Given the litany of events and many personalities, the book demands analysis, not just a synopsis of events, and here Popkin has done a superb job ... Popkin does an excellent job of adding context to decisions and actions that allow us to understand how this unknown lieutenant became Emperor Napoleon. Certainly, my favorite part of the book is the characters ... each person adds to the story and is animated with thought, appearance and will ... a comprehensive, well-written journey through this thrilling period.
RaveBookreporterIf you like to live in your books --- feel the weather, the pains and the frustrations --- then you will loveThe Poppy Wife What makes it so special is its subject and point of view. In our history, the Great War was fast eclipsed by the next war and ejected from our cultural memory, yet it stands as a major turning point with consequences the world continues to deal with today. Caroline Scott takes all of that and wraps it in a story with a perspective that shifts from warrior to survivor to spouse, and does so with elegance ... Scott puts on a great display of literary finesse. Amidst the images of mud, plaster and mental anguish, she treats readers to beautiful poetry and prose that moves and inspires ... imagery, biblical symbolism and even names add texture and depth to these characters ... The research is impeccable. Scott’s description of the war is pure history, yet she has spun the hard, cold horrors into personal struggles to which the reader can relate.