RaveThe New York Times Book Review... well-researched and reasoned ... The book should become the definitive account of its subject ... Since the October 1962 near miss of a holocaust, most global leaders have prioritized arms control to reduce the likelihood of nuclear war. Gambling With Armageddon is a useful reminder to their successors to continue the effort.
Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw
RaveWashington Independent Review of BooksThe magic of this book comes not just from Meacham’s artful delivery of the nation’s history in only 230 pages ... [McGraw] dissects 37 landmark songs, communicating his full patriotic and moral fervor to deepen readers’ reflections on the tunes ... What sets off the fireworks in Songs of America beyond Meacham’s tight narrative and McGraw’s engaging commentary are the iconic photographs interspersed throughout. Readers will surely feel lumps in their throats ... school superintendents should make Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw’s book their new go-to text.
Bud Selig, with Phil Rogers
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksIf you can find a better account of Major League Baseball’s most important issues and changes over the last half-century, read it ... Selig pulls no punches ... could have been titled Saving Baseball, and Bud Selig turns this uplifting story into a compelling read about how he overcame one obstacle after another off the field in order to preserve and improve the quality of the game on it.
PositiveWashington Independent Review of BooksClay Risen makes a strong case for the proposition that the Spanish-American War of 1898 was American foreign policy’s tipping point for what followed in the 20th and early 21st centuries ... The original motives behind the policy of pushing our values abroad, embraced by most American presidents since McKinley, were not totally clear. Did it become our guiding principle because of purely humanitarian reasons? ... Risen makes a tight argument that the conversation started with the Spanish-American War ... Risen does a particularly good job of detailing Roosevelt’s exceptional leadership of his men during their four months together ... For those who enjoy stories of bona-fide patriotism, valor, and sacrifice, The Crowded Hour fills the bill.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of Books... 300+ pages that will likely cause legions of readers to reassess how they want to spend the rest of their days ... By weaving together dozens of pearls from this spectrum of world-class thinkers and unifying their thoughts into an account of his faith pilgrimage, Brooks demonstrates powers of synthesis that surely rise to the level of genius ... For those who have now finished this review of The Second Mountain and decide to forego Brooks’ new book, here’s hoping that the rest of your life on the First Mountain provides some measure of Instagram happiness, and that you never tire of singing Peggy Lee’s most melancholy song.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of Books... provides an often rollicking account of Conroy’s larger-than-life personality — always quick on the retort, self-deprecating, irresponsibly free spending, and using the same piercing language in conversation as his cutting-edge words on the page ... provides an exquisite, deeply moving portrait of one man’s accepting the very good and the very bad in a treasured friend who did him wrong, and favorably judges Pat Conroy with a large measure of grace.
PositiveWashington Independent Review of Books\"[Brookhiser\'s] political journalism skills empower him to tell the story of his subject’s landmark career on the Supreme Court absent legalese, writing up the facts and holdings in Marshall’s most important cases as if they were short stories — which makes for an easy read out of what could have been technical tedium ... Brookhiser’s three prior books on Washington surely paved the way for his complete grasp of the nation-changing relationship between \'the Father of Our Country\' and \'the Man Who Made the Supreme Court\' ... Brookhiser properly concludes his biography by asking the right questions about where the nation is going now in the context of knowing where it’s been.\
Joseph J. Ellis
PositiveWashington Independent Review of Books\"[The book\'s organization] puts the reader in a position to grasp how understanding today’s controversial issues can be enhanced by learning how they were originally dealt with by the smartest guys in the room when the country first began facing its problems ... American Dialogue has arrived on the scene at an optimum time. With polarization ratcheting up with each passing day, and civil discourse becoming almost extinct, it’s a worthwhile exercise to revisit the treasured history of America’s early days as a republic.
Dan Abrams and David Fisher
PositiveWashington Independent Review of BooksOur 16th commander-in-chief\'s genius shines in this riveting account of his courtroom prowess ... Dan Abrams and David Fisher’s book adds a new layer of understanding about how Lincoln’s mind worked as a consummate trial lawyer, and how that mind provided the platform for his political prowess.
Bret Baier, Catherine Whitney
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksLest there be anyone on the fence about Reagan’s legacy as a leader and communicator...all doubts are removed ... Three Days in Moscow is a smooth, informative, and persuasive piece of history writing.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of Books\"Because of their friendship, Rumsfeld makes clear from the outset that his view of Ford is not impartial, and his book is not intended to be an objective biography. Rather, it is his attempt to \'give a sense of what it was like to be there, during one of our nation’s most tempestuous times, at Gerald Ford’s side.\' Despite that caveat, the book is a fine work of presidential history, as evidenced by the dust-jacket endorsements from Pulitzer winner Jon Meacham and Pulitzer finalist Jean Edward Smith ... As Rumsfeld persuasively demonstrates, despite these deficiencies, Ford did an outstanding job in bringing both Watergate and Vietnam to an end, and also in turning around the nation’s economy by working successfully with Congress on legislation that reduced inflation and unemployment ... Rumsfeld’s book should inspire historians to look beyond charisma and eloquence in ranking presidents and reevaluate their assessment of his late friend’s presidency. After all, during his 895 days at the nation’s helm, Gerald Ford succeeded in bringing stability and trust back to the Oval Office at a time when our country needed it most.\
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksAnyone who succeeds in condensing and deriving lessons from the guts of American history in fewer than 300 pages is demonstrating synthesizing powers bordering on the supernatural. Such is the achievement of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham ... With the arrival of a new baseball season, hope springs eternal that the home team will have a good record in the months ahead. With its release yesterday, The Soul of America is the author\'s swing-for-the-fences effort to inspire his country to execute a future game plan for restoring the nation to its pre-Trump mindset.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksGiven the distance between them, bringing King and Kennedy together in one book is a masterstroke that allows for a more complete analysis of two key figures in the American experience during the 1960s. While operating largely independently of each other, both men pushed hard on the envelope in pursuing their shared missions of advancing civil rights and condemning American involvement in the Vietnam War ... Knowing what's coming in 1968, Margolick still manages to keep the tension ratcheted up as he provides the highlights of their rollercoaster-like lives ... Momentum builds with each chapter as the dramatic peaks and valleys of the two martyrs' lives crescendo until the climactic shots ring out from the guns of James Earl Ray and Sirhan Sirhan. With those fateful blasts, hopes for a more enlightened country crashed and burned.
RaveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksWhyte now makes a convincing case for the reassessment of our 31st president in his outstanding new biography ... This well organized, thoroughly researched, and smoothly written biography persuasively demonstrates that its subject’s place in history should be elevated far beyond its current status.
PanThe Washington Independent Review of BooksLest any reader be unfamiliar with the author's political preferences, of the three endorsements for the book found on its dust jacket, one describes him as a ‘great liberal historian writing about our greatest liberal president,’ and another comes from former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, whose credentials as a reasoned critic of historical assessment are nonexistent … A reader looking for something new about Roosevelt in this book will be disappointed. Nowhere is there any indication that Dallek relies on any newly discovered primary sources, meaning this biography is essentially a serviceable rehash of past books devoted to FDR, as is clear from the author's frequent quoting of other biographers’ assessments of our nation's 32nd president.