RaveBooklistNimura brings their world vividly to life ... Nimura deftly reveals the differences between their experiences and ours through explorations of the theories, practices, and controversies of mid-nineteenth-century medicine; the Blackwells’ ambiguous relationships with the women’s rights and women’s education movements; and the niche that they and other women found as practitioners for the poor, benefiting from the willingness of the wealthy to consign charity care to the women doctors who they themselves would not patronize. With the fiercely intelligent, prickly sisters at the center, Nimura’s engrossing and enlightening group biography is highly recommended.
RaveBooklistAfter a career spent studying and recreating English domestic life, from medieval times to the Victorian period, historian Goodman is uniquely qualified to uncover how a seemingly minor change in consumer choices can dramatically alter people’s lives and society as a whole. Having seen for herself the difference between running a period home fueled by wood and a coal-powered household, she makes that the springboard for an entertaining and wide-reaching investigation of how thousands of fuel-starved Londoners shifting to coal in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries set in motion a transformation of English food, homemaking, transportation networks, landscapes, and industry, all of which, in turn, shaped the modern world. Goodman uses vivid historical anecdotes and personal experience to explain how the changes unfolded, step by step ... This immensely readable study makes a clear and convincing case for overlooked aspects of the significance of home life.
Catherine Grace Katz
PositiveBooklistKatz centers the perspectives of these women in an intricately detailed history of the Yalta conference that presents its activities and negotiations from their positions on the fringes of the official business. Drawing on letters, diaries, and personal papers, she offers an intimate portrait of the networks of friendships, shared professional histories, and other links that were forged in Anglo-American diplomatic circles and which shaped the conference’s progress. Additionally, she shows how for the three daughters, like all who were touched by WWII, the conference and the war were transformative experiences. This work will appeal to readers intrigued by diplomatic history and the WWII era.3
MixedBooklistAt a moment when presidential sex scandals have few immediate consequences, this book will remind readers of the moral and political complexity of the topic while providing an entertaining introduction.
PositiveBooklistHistorian Tallis...brings out the nuances in the life of Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII, often portrayed in popular culture as either a romantic heroine or a monomaniacal schemer for her son ... This clear, straightforward portrayal of Margaret Beaufort’s complex world will appeal to fans of the Tudors and English history.
PositiveBooklistThis brisk, sometimes breathless history provides a helpful introduction to these important issues.
Zachary D Carter
RaveBooklistIn this sweeping intellectual biography, Carter traces Keynes’ career from his first forays into public policy during WWI, through the bumpy 1920s, and the Great Depression, to its end in the behind-the-scenes negotiations of WWII. He vividly describes Keynes’ world, which encompassed both European realpolitik and the Bloomsbury Group, and illustrates how his academic, cultural, and political activities influenced his ideas ... Carter’s timely study is highly recommended.
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
PositiveBooklistMeltzer and Mensch introduce a constellation of pro-slavery militias and secret societies, with names like the Knights of the Golden Circle, which worked with the local police on plans to ensnare Lincoln, while their discussion of how the newly founded Pinkerton National Detective Agency infiltrated the conspiracy includes unexpected details of undercover work, 1860s-style—including by pathbreaking women detectives. A delightful addition to popular literature on the Civil War era.
Kimberly A Hamlin
PositiveBooklistIn this page-turning biography, historian Hamlin...illuminates a forgotten force in the free thought, women’s rights, and women’s suffrage movements of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries ... This vivid and exuberant portrait of a dynamic, complex activist and her world is highly recommended.
PositiveBooklistHe vividly describes...neighborhoods, personalities, and historical conflicts while emphasizing how segregation, disinvestment, and race-based economic extraction eventually set the stage for Ferguson ... At once gentle and dystopian, Johnson’s history of an American city issues an important warning to not ignore the rotten spots in the country’s foundation.
PositiveBooklistHubbard explores how MBS rose through the royal family by foul means and fair, and how, once in control, he developed his brand of populist authoritarianism. He has sidelined conservative clerics, loosened restrictions on women, and reached out to Western innovators and thought leaders, but his intolerance of any real or perceived questions or challenges limits the transformation’s depth. MBS, who rules with very few institutional constraints, will likely be a long-term force in global politics. Hubbard’s early assessment provides valuable insights into the prince’s MO.
PositiveBooklistBy focusing on individual experiences, especially those of British army wives, Zabin highlights the role of women in this world and emphasizes the personal camaraderie that emerged on all social levels even as the military occupation raised tensions to a breaking point. By recovering such realities, she shows how the trials that followed the Boston Massacre were used as a first step in writing this \'cross-cultural community\' out of history, a necessity for revolution. Zabin’s engaging history adds nuance and complexity to the political and social aspects of the American Revolution.
PositiveBooklistThrough a series of finely drawn and moving portraits...Yaffa describes how this system ensnares wily men and wily women, whatever their goals or motivations ... This subtle yet piercing work will help readers appreciate the complexity of an often-stereotyped society.
PositiveBooklistCohen persuasively argues that the court’s five-decade pattern of \'siding with the rich and powerful against the poor and weak\' bears at least some of the blame for our historic levels of socioeconomic inequality ... In a lament for what might have been as well as an attack on what is, Cohen clearly and forcefully reminds us of the power of this institution.
Gilda R. Daniels
RaveBooklistIn concise chapters focused on specific suppression tactics, she offers strategies for moving the pendulum towards access. The book also covers key federal policy choices and court cases that have impacted voting rights and, lest readers lose sight of the impact of voter suppression on real people, draws on individual experiences, including those of Daniels’ own family members—whose lives span the decades from Jim Crow-era fights for voting rights to the need to defend them in the present—to illuminate the issue’s urgency. This book is a valuable resource for all participants in civic life.
PositiveBooklistZucchino shines his reporter’s spotlight on what he aptly calls a murderous coup as well as exploring its background and long-term consequences. He details how cynical operatives fanned racial hatred among Wilmington’s white working class, the vibrancy of the African American community, whose very existence was threatened by the coup, and the passive federal response that helped to entrench white supremacy and terror throughout the South, using the stories of figures like crusading Black newspaper editor Alex Manly and Democratic leader Josephus Daniels (whose reputation as a prudish but generally progressive politician takes a well-deserved hit) to add depth and nuance. The result is both a page-turner and a sobering reminder of democracy’s fragility.
David J. Silverman
RaveBooklistFocusing on the Wampanoag and their Native American neighbors in New England, historian Silverman...repositions the Wampanoag-pilgrim relationship within the region’s history and brings its complexity to life ... Linking this history to a present in which New England Indians observe a Day of Mourning on the third Thursday in November, Silverman’s highly recommended work enlightens as it calls into question persistent myths about the origins of Thanksgiving.
PositiveBooklistFinn captures Legendre’s quick-witted responses to the dangers of interrogation and the contrasts, often expressed in her own voice, between her imprisonment and the experiences of other prisoners and German civilians in the last days of the war. Legendre’s life makes for a captivating historical yarn and a unique addition to the cultural history of World War II.
Garrett M. Graff
RaveBooklist... a diverse group of individual experiences. There are tragedies and losses, moments of heroism and survival, and fears and foreshadowings of a darker future to come ... This book is an excellent resource for readers seeking to understand how, and why.
Julia Flynn Siler
PositiveBooklist...[an] incisive history ... Siler offers a fascinating example of the urgency and ambiguity of turn-of-the-century social reform movements and reformers.
David K. Randall
PositiveBooklistIn this fast-paced history, journalist Randall...explains how the plague became a hazard in the continental U.S ... this story of an epidemic that wasn’t is a gripping historical mystery and a key cautionary tale for our own time.
PositiveBooklistOkrent makes clear that [the] restrictions of European Jews and other refugees from fascism during the 1930s was not the only evil wrought by these thinkers. The Nazi ideology that caused them to flee was heavily influenced by American scientific racism. A sobering, valuable contribution to discussions about immigration.
PositiveBooklist[Winder] brings his subject to life with sympathy, verve, and erudition ... Winder highlights the contrasts between readers’ modern perspectives and those of the Lotharingians and their peers with a deft combination of personal observation, historical anecdotes, and humorously straightforward summaries of complex military, dynastic, and ideological conflicts. This work is highly recommended for fans of European and world history.
PositiveBooklistMorrison gathers a broad range of topics into a strong, cohesive, and fast-moving narrative. An excellent introduction for readers new to the period and a fresh take for Regency enthusiasts.
RaveBooklist... engrossing ... combining history, popular science, and policy, [Honigsbaum] describes each pandemic with journalistic immediacy, emphasizing the patterns that characterize responses to them. He makes the case that reliance on conventional scientific wisdom and technology has hampered the fight against pandemics by narrowing our perspectives and encouraging fear and hypervigilance. In response, he calls for attention to the social and cultural contexts of disease that, though it may not be able to prevent future pandemics, can help to understand and contain them. An important and timely work.
PositiveBooklistThe narrative offers breadth rather than depth, but Inglis builds interest by emphasizing the places where intersections among historical strands yielded unexpected results and new trajectories in our relationship with opium ... A compelling story and a strong introduction to an important topic.
Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
PositiveBooklistBest-selling novelist and television-host Meltzer...and documentarian Mensch bring the fast pace and sensibility of a thriller to the Hickey Plot, a failed 1776 scheme to kidnap and possibly murder George Washington. They vividly evoke the world of occupied New York City in which the scheme unfolded ... What Meltzer and Mensch do bring out is how the scheme helped to inspire American innovations in defensive spycraft ... Readers who like their histories full of twists, turns, and cliff-hangers will enjoy this romp through the Revolution.
RaveBooklist...Goodman\'s...investigation of life along the boundaries of English Renaissance civility uncovers various categories of transgression, including insults, violent acts, and crude behavior, that are still recognizable today ... Goodman deftly combines anecdotes and examples that illustrate each topic and clear explanations of why certain behavior mattered socially and philosophically in that time and place ... highly readable and very funny treatment of a popular historical period and an invitation for readers to think about their own understandings of cultural etiquette.
RaveBooklist\"...In this retelling of the Jamestown saga, Kelly argues that history’s Hopkinses, who aspired to marronage (escaping slavery) and self-determination instead of empire or a city on a hill, offer the myth we need, one that contains \'the trampled seed of democracy.\' Though Hopkins and those like him left few records, Kelly fleshes out the available glimpses with a vivid, detailed description of the settlement and its English and Native American contexts ... Kelly’s dynamic narrative brings Jamestown to life and shows how history reflects the present as well as the past.
PositiveBooklist[A] smart, tremendously readable history...[Miller] doesn’t offer easy answers, but his analysis encourages readers to ask important questions. Both challenging and accessible, this title is highly recommended.
Doris Kearns Goodwin
PositiveBooklist\"While presidential historian Goodwin does not address the present situation in this beautifully written meditation on the topic, her assessment of four respected presidents’ abilities as leaders cannot help but contribute to current debates ... Goodwin draws on 50 years of scholarship in this strong and resonant addition to the literature of the presidency.\
RaveBooklist Online\"His engaging political memoir centers on his work as part of the Obama administration and as ambassador in Moscow, as his ideas were tested by the constraints of policy making and challenged by life in a Russia that was rapidly returning to autocracy ... McFaul ends by bringing his depth of perspective to bear on current U.S.-Russian relations, concluding that the \'hot peace\' of the Putin era is here to stay. An expert political chronicle that often reads like a fast-paced thriller, this title is highly recommended.\
Ngugi Wa Thiong'o
PositiveBooklist...the book’s power comes from its treatment of broader subjects: the circumscribed nature of life in prison and the temptation posed by the promise of reward for acquiescence to state demands; why Kenya resorted to political imprisonment; and the underlying cultural toxicity inherited from colonial rule. With elegant prose and compelling arguments, this is highly recommended.
RaveBooklistBeginning with the close relationship between corporate governance and the development of democracy in colonial America, he explores how each period in American history saw new battles over corporate constitutional rights and why the courts have generally favored their expansion, and he closes with a discussion of the current legal landscape. Along the way, he presents a wide range of vividly drawn historical figures, bringing their philosophies, tactics, debates, and shenanigans to life while allowing readers to assess the ethics and implications of their work.