History Book Reviews / Biographies / Politics / Current Events

Site main index :
Book Reviews - All Categories
 >> Link back to the
History and Biography index page
 >> Book descriptions received
from FSB Associates

Please click on a book title to link to the Amazon.com individual book page
(check price, more description, and option to buy)

Strange Victory : Hitler's Conquest of France , by Ernest R. May (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0809089068; hardcover; 9/20/00; History) A dramatic new interpretation of Germany's lightning attack that swept the Wehrmacht to Paris in Spring 1940. Before the Nazis killed him for his work in the French Resistance, the great historian Marc Bloch wrote a famous short book, Strange Defeat, about his nation's fall to a hated enemy. In Strange Victory, the distinguished diplomatic historian Ernest R. May considers the opposite issue: How did Hitler and his generals manage this swift conquest, considering that France and its allies were superior in every measurable dimension and considering the Germans' own skepticism about their chances? Strange Victory is a riveting study of the years leading up to those crucial weeks in 1940, and it suggests new ways to think about the decisions taken on both sides. Why did Hitler turn against France at just this moment and not before? And why were his poor judgment and inadequate intelligence about the Allies nonetheless correct? Why didn't France take the offensive earlier, when it might have led to victory? What explains France's failure to detect and respond to Germany's attack plan? Weaving together decisions of the high commands with the confused responses from exhausted and ill-informed, or ill-advised, officers in the field, May offers many new insights into the tragic paradoxes of the battle for France. He warns that in the future nations may suffer strange defeats of their own, if they do not learn from their predecessors' mistakes.

Sentimental Democracy : The Evolution of America's Romantic Self-Image , by Andrew Burstein (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0809085356; hardcover; American History) A provocative new interpretation of the language Americans have used to define their country. Americans have always used words of sentiment and sympathy, passion and power to explain their country's democracy. Here the young Jefferson scholar Andrew Burstein examines the metaphorically rich language which Americans developed to express their guiding principle: that the New World would improve upon the Old. In journals, letters, and speeches, and in diaries and books that deployed an impassioned rhetoric of "feeling," he locates the sources of American patriotism.

Fast Food Nation : The Dark Side of the All-American Meal , by Eric Schlosser (Houghton Mifflin; 0395977894; hardcover; 1/17/01; Current Affairs / Politics) To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar America. Though created by a handful of mavericks, the fast food industry has triggered the homogenization of our society. Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

Devices and Desires : A History of Contraceptives in America , by Andrea Tone (Hill and Wang; 080903817X; hardcover; 6/7/01; History) A down-and-out sausage-casing worker by day who turned surplus animal intestines into a million-dollar condom enterprise at night; inventors who fashioned cervical caps out of watch springs; and a mother of six who kissed photographs of the inventor of the Pill -- these are just a few of the fascinating individuals who make up the history of contraception in America. Scholars of birth control typically frame its history as one of physicians, lawmakers, and political activists. But in Devices and Desires, Andrea Tone breaks new ground by showing what it was really like to produce, buy, and use contraceptives during a century of profound social and technological change.

Uncommon Grounds : The History of Coffee and How It Transformed the World , by Mark Pendergrast (Basic Books; 0465036317; hardcover; History / Business) The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World. The first comprehensive business and social history of coffee, from the author of the widely acclaimed FOR GOD, COUNTRY AND COCA-COLA.

God's Perfect Child : Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church , by Caroline Fraser (Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt & Company; 0805044302; Hardcover). Founded in 1879 by Mary Baker Eddy, the Christian Science Church is distinctly rooted in American culture, with its extreme interpretation of self-reliance and its seductive assertion that individuals can control their physical destiny. In the first full-scale examination of the Church, God's Perfect Child : Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church , Caroline Fraser charts the transformation of this little-understood movement from a small sect to a socially respectable, politically powerful - and yet inherently dangerous - religion.

Ice Master : The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk , by Jennifer Niven (Hyperion; 0786865296; hardcover; 11/10/00; History) In 1913 an expedition party sailed out of British Columbia in search of an undiscovered Arctic continent. Filled with hope and excitement, the twenty-five people on board had no hint of the tragedy that lay ahead. Finally, after being stranded for nearly twelve months at the top of the world, eight men, one woman, and two children were rescued. Until now, their amazing story has never been fully told. Bringing together first-hand diary accounts, original documents, news reports, and interviews with a variety of sources including descendants of expedition members and the one living survivor. The Ice Master is a true story that rivals the most dramatic fiction. It is a tale of adventure and exploration, of cowardice and heroism, of brutality and hardship, of betrayal and redemption. It is a story about unlikely heroes and unexpected villains human beings reduced to their primal needs by the infinite power and mystery of nature.

A Sabbath Life : One Woman's Search for Wholeness , by Kathleen Hirsch (North Point Press; 0865475989; hardcover; 4/18/01; Memoir / Spirituality) A successful writer and a committed feminist, Kathleen Hirsch, at age forty, finds herself searching for something more. How, she asks, can women's lives be more spiritually alive and whole? Can we reclaim in our most productive years what we sacrificed to earlier ideas of success? What is the place of silence and creativity in our busy lives? Unable to trek to Tibet or retreat to a cabin in the woods, she enters a season of reflection in the midst of her everyday life. A career crisis, the sudden death of a brother, and the birth of her son, all in a year's time, deepen her probing. Hirsch examines the role of women's friendships and the definition of worthwhile work. Her inner pilgrimage gradually moves her to seek out a range of remarkable women who are consciously trying to live in balance. They lead her to bold conclusions that will inspire many women who are seeking realistic ways to live more multidimensional lives.

Dark Midnight When I Rise , by Andrew Ward (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374187711; hardcover; American History) Story of trailblazing gospel troupe of former slaves who set off from Nashville in 1871 to save Fisk University from collapse. Their extraordinary contribution to American life cleared the way for such legendary black musicians as Paul Robeson, Marion Anderson and Harry Belafonte.

Hitler Stopped By Franco , by Jane Boyar and Burt Boyar (Marbella House; 0971039208; paperback; 9/17/01; History) N.Y. Times #1 Best Selling authors Jane and Burt Boyar document this stunning fact: Spain, the weakest nation in Europe, defied the mighty Nazi war machine and altered forever the course of modern history. Here is the story -- with all its intrigue and secret liaisons -- of how General Francisco Franco denied to Adolf Hitler the strategy that would have won World War II for the Führer.

A Border Passage , by Leila Ahmed (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0374115184; hardcover; Memoir). A lyrical memoir -- from Egyptian Muslim girlhood to American feminist womanhood. Leila Ahmed grew up in Cairo in the 1940s and '50s in a family that was eagerly and passionately political. Although many in the Egyptian upper classes were firmly opposed to change, the Ahmeds were proud supporters of independence. But the family's opposition to Nasser's policies led to persecutions that would set their youngest child on a journey across cultures and through some of the major transformations of our century: the end of colonialism and the European empires, the creation of Israel, the rise of Arab nationalism, and the breakdown of the multireligious society that had thrived in Egypt.

Citizen Lord : The Life of Edward Fitzgerald - Irish Revolutionary , by Stella Tillyard (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0374525897; paperback; History / Biography) From personal letters and other sources, Stella Tillyard has re-created the life of a headstrong young aristocrat who died a martyred rebel for the cause of Irish independence. Lord Edward Fitzgerald joined the British army as a teenager, but radical sentiments soon prevailed over loyalty to the Crown. In North America in 1787, he spent time with the Iroquois; back in Europe, he became a disciple of Thomas Paine and joined the Irish underground. Even his love life was political-from his tragic affair with the wife of Richard Brinsley Sheridan to his marriage to the daughter of a French republican. Lord Edward was plotting for Ireland's independence when, as the bloody rebellion of 1798 raged around him, he was mortally wounded by British soldiers.

The Other Civil War : American Women in the Nineteenth Century , by Catherine Clinton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0809016222; paperback; History/Amer). A lively, comprehensive account of the struggle of women's rights at a vital time in our national history.

A Portrait of Egypt , by Mary Anne Weaver (Farrar Straus & Giroux; 0374527105; paperback; Current Affairs) Essential reading for anyone trying to understand the far-reaching consequences of the growing impact of Islamist politics and policies on the West.

Islam's Black Slaves : The Other Black Diaspora , by Ronald Segal (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374227748; hardcover; 2/28/01; History) In this groundbreaking work intended as a companion volume to The Black Diaspora, Ronald Segal tells the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade. Documenting a centuries-old institution that still survives today, Islam's Black Slaves outlines the differences between the trades in the East and West. Tracing slavery through history, from Islam's inception in the seventh century, across China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Spain, and the Sudan and Morocco, which still have active markets, Segal reveals for the first time the extent of the trade and the sheer number of slaves -- as many as twelve million -- bought and sold in the course of the subsequent centuries. In an illuminating conclusion, Segal addresses the popularity of Islam in African American communities.

Ulysses S. Grant : Triumph Over Adversity - 1822-1865 , by Brooks D. Simpson (Houghton Mifflin; 0395659949; hardcover; Biography) The early years of America's most misunderstood hero.

Destroying the World to Save It , by Adam McGovern (Henry Holt; 0805052909; hardcover; Current Events). Since the earliest moments of recorded history, prophets and gurus have foretold the world's end, but only in the nuclear age has it been possible for a megalomaniac guru with a world-ending vision to bring his prophecy to pass. Bold and compelling, Destroying the World to Save It charts the emergence of a new global threat of urgent concern to us all.

Living in Hope and History , by Nadine Gordimer (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374189919; hardcover; Cultural Criticism). Internationally celebrated for her novels, Nadine Gordimer has devoted much of her life and fiction to the political struggles of the Third World, the New World, and her native South Africa. Living in Hope and History is an on-the-spot record of her years as a public figure--an observer of apartheid and its aftermath, a member of the ANC, and the champion of dissident writers everywhere.

Almost History : Close Calls, Plan B's, and Twists of Fate in America's Past , by Roger Bruns (Hyperion, 0786866632; hardcover; 11/22/00; History) Almost History is a collection of speeches, memos, and other archival material that reveals how our government would have handled historic moments that almost -- but didn't -- come to be: JFK's prepared address justifying his bombing of Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis; Abraham Lincoln's plans for post-Civil War Reconstruction; the authorization for the use of American nuclear weapons in the Vietnam War; the CIA's memo discussing the use of Americans as guinea pigs in drug tests, the FBI's memo on deporting John Lennon, and much more.

Big Chief Elizabeth : The Adventures and Fate of the First English Colonists in America , by Giles Milton (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374265011; hardcover; 11/25/2000; History) In April 1586 Queen Elizabeth I acquired a new and exotic title. A tribe of Native Americans had made her their weroanza -- a word that meant "big chief." The news was received with great joy, both by the queen and by her flirtatious, Sir Walter Ralegh. His first American expedition had brought back a captive, Manteo, whose tattooed face and otter-skin cloak had caused a sensation in Elizabethan London. In 1587, Manteo was returned to his homeland as Lord and Governor, along with more than one hundred English men, women, and children. In 1590, a supply ship arrived at the colony, but the settlers had disappeared.

Mother Jones : The Most Dangerous Woman in America , by Elliot J. Gorn (Hill and Wang; 0809070936; hardcover; 3/17/01; Biography / American History) The definitive biography of an extraordinary hero of the labor movement. Her rallying cry was famous : "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." Mother Jones (1837-1930) was a celebrated organizer and agitator, the very soul of the labor movement in the early twentieth century. At coal strikes, steel strikes, railroad, textile, and brewery strikes, Mother Jones was always there, stirring the workers to action and enraging the powerful. Mother Jones was on the brink of old age when she began her public life, and her early years have long been shrouded in obscurity. Elliott J. Gorn has uncovered them here, as he not only interprets her career as an agitator but also looks back at her emigration from Ireland, her work as schoolteacher and dressmaker, the tragic early deaths of her husband and children, and the "lost years" when she faded from view altogether.

Bad Bet on the Bayou : The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards , by Tyler Bridges (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374108307; hardcover; 5/21/01; History / Biography) Louisiana is our most exotic state. It is religious and roguish, a place populated by Cajuns, Creoles, rednecks, and Bible-thumpers. Let the Good times roll is its unofficial motto. Louisiana is also excessively corrupt. In the 1990s, it plunged headlong into legalized gambling, authorizing more games of chance than any other state. leading the charge was Governor Edwin Edwards, who for years had flaunted his fondness for cold cash and high-stakes gambling, and who had used his razor-sharp mind and catlike reflexes to stay one step ahead of the law. Gambling, Edwin Edwards, and Louisiana's political culture would prove to be a combustible mix. Bad Bet on the Bayou tells the story of what happened when the most corrupt industry came to our most corrupt state.

Sheba : Through the Desert in Search of the Legendary Queen , by Nicholas Clapp (Houghton Mifflin; 0395952832; hardcover; 4/27/01; History) Three thousand years ago, a dusky queen swept into the court of King Solomon, and from that time to the present day, her tale has been told and retold. Who was this queen? Did she really exist? In a quixotic odyssey that takes him to Ethiopia, Arabia, Israel, and even a village in France, Nicholas Clapp seeks the underlying truth behind the multifaceted myth of the queen of Sheba.

Story of Corn , by Betty Harper Fussell (North Point Press; 0865475458; Paperback; Food) "Putting this book down is as hard as leaving an ear of fresh buttered corn half eaten." --The New York Times. Fussell (Food in Good Season, 1988, etc.) has steeped herself in corn lore and emerged with this encyclopedic entry on that sustaining American grain in myth, ritual, history, science and technology, breeding and cultivation, industry, processing, and cookery (not recipes, just a survey)--with a chapter on corn whiskey thrown in and an interweaving of personal root-claiming by way of a Nebraska grandfather.

Desertion : A Vietnam Odyssey , by Jack Todd (Houghton Mifflin; 0618091556; hardcover; 4/23/01; Memoir) Jack Todd was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1970 at the age of 23. Just before he was due to leave for service in Vietnam, he deserted and crossed the border into Canada, leaving behind his family, the girl he loved -- and his beloved homeland. This is his story -- and also the story of the other young men who could not serve in a war they did not understand and did not support. His book is a powerful and moving testament to a tormented period in American history.

The Other Side of Eden : Hunters, Farmers, and the Shaping of the World , by Hugh Brody (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0865476101; hardcover; 4/25/01; Anthropology) Hugh Brody first encountered hunting peoples when he lived among the Inuit of the High Arctic, who instructed him not only how to speak but how to do and be Inuk-titut, in the manner of an Inuk. Since then he has spent nearly three decades studying with, learning from, crusading for, and thinking about hunter-gatherers, who survive at the margins of the vast, fertile lands occupied by farming peoples and their descendants. In material terms, the hunters have been all but vanquished, yet in this profound and passionate book Brody utterly dispels the notion that theirs is a lesser way of life. Drawing on his experiences among indigenous peoples, as well as on the work of linguists, historians, and fellow anthropologists, he reveals the outlooks and practices that distinguish the hunter from the farmer.

Zuni and the American Imagination , by Eliza McFeely (Hill and Wang; 0809027070; hardcover; 4/1/01; History) The Zuni society existed for centuries before there was a United States, and it still exists in its desert pueblo in what is now New Mexico. More than a hundred years ago, three anthropologists -- among the first in this discipline -- came to Zuni to study it and to salvage what they could of its tangible culture before modern life engulfed and destroyed it, which they believed was sure to happen. The pioneering work of Matilda Stevenson, Frank Hamilton Cushing, and Stewart Culin -- and their belief in the power and significance of Zuni life -- put this fascinating Native American group into the heart of the American imagination, where it has resided ever since. The complex relationship between the Zuni as they were and are, and the Zuni as imagined by these three easterners, is at the heart of Eliza McFeely's important new book.

Book descriptions on this page were contributed by the publishers' internet marketing agency,
FSB Associates

Search Amazon.com

All Products
Books & Audio Books
Popular Music
Classical Music
Videos & DVD
... VHS only
... DVD only
Toys & Games
Cameras & Photo
Cell Phones & Plans
Video Games
Kitchen Products
Baby Products
Lawn - Garden - Patio
Tools & Hardware
Bargain Outlet


Who Killed Kirov : The Kremlin's Greatest Mystery , by Amy W. Knight (Hill & Wang; 0809064049; Hardcover; History / Russia) An exciting new analysis of the crime of the century, the assassination of Stalin's greatest rival. On December 4, 1934, the Red Arrow chugged from Leningrad through the freezing dawn to Moscow's October Railway Station. Inside was a coffin containing the bullet-scarred body of Sergei Kirov, former Leningrad Party Chief, Politburo member, and prize orator of the Stalin regime. Kirov's murder, allegedly by a lone gunman, sparked the brutal purges that characterized the Stalin regime, and speculation about it still fascinates the Russians, much as the Kennedy assassination fascinates Americans. Amy Knight, a research associate at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University, is the author of Spies Without Cloaks: The KGB's Successors and Beria: Stalin's First Lieutenant. She lives in McLean, Virginia.

Asian American Dreams , by Helen Zia (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374147744; hardcover; Asian American Studies) The emergence of an American People. The fascinating story of the rise of Asian Americans as a politically and socially influential racial group.

Rattling The Cage , by Steven M. Wiseby (Perseus Books; 0738200654; hardcover; Environment / Nature) Has everything needed to convince judges, scientists, lawyers, and the millions of others who simply care about animals of the injustice of denying them basic legal rights.

The Plot to Get Bill Gates , by Gary Rivlin (Times Books; 0812930061; Hardcover; Business) The Plot to Get Bill Gates: An Irreverent Investigation of the World's Richest Man ... and the People Who Hate Him. In this wildly original work of comic nonfiction, acclaimed journalist Gary Rivlin strips away the puffery surrounding Bill Gates and other titans of high-tech, many of whom suffer from Bill Envy. The result is a contemporary variation of Moby Dick in which a loosely knit cabal of Ahab-like enemies attempt to harpoon the Great White Whale of Seattle.

Diana : In Search of Herself , by Sally Bedell Smith (Random House; 0812930304; hardcover; Biography). Portrait of a troubled princess. Best-selling author Sally Bedell Smith's biography of Diana will be regarded as the most authoritative book on this subject-perceptive, accurate, and surprisingly fresh in its conclusions about Diana's inner life.

The Selling of 'Free Trade' , by John R. MacArthur (Hill & Wang / Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0809085313; hardcover; Political Science) Examination of the NAFTA agreement, and an expose of how the Washington political establishment gets its way, even when confronted with widespread popular opposition.

Rivonia's Children , by Glenn Frankel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0374250995; hardcover). The little-known story of three white, middle-class families and their remarkable struggle against apartheid in the mid-1960s. Rivonia's Children is the harrowing and inspiring account of a handful of white Jewish activists who risked their lives to combat apartheid when South Africa plunged into an era of darkness in the 1960s from which it has only recently emerged.

The Third Reich : A New History , by Michael Burleigh (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0809093251; hardcover; 10/31/2000; History) Filled with human and moral considerations that are missing from theoretical accounts, Michael Burleigh's book gives full weight to the experience of ordinary people who were swept up in, or repelled by, Hitler's movement and emphasizes international themes -- for Nazi Germany appealed to many European nations, and its wartime conduct included efforts to dominate the Continental economy and involved gigantic population transfers and exterminations, recruitment of foreign labor, and multinational armies.

Modern Medea , by Steven Weisenburger (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0809069547; paperback; African American Studies). A family story of slavery and child-murder from the Old South. The widely acclaimed inquiry into the story that inspired Toni Morrison's BELOVED. Steven Weisenburger is the first scholar to delve into the astonishing story of Margaret Garner's child-murder in more than a century. His dramatic narrative paints a nuanced portrait of the not-so-genteel Southern culture that perpetuated slavery and had such destructive effects on all who lived with it and in it.

Nobody Said Not to Go , by Ken Cuthbertson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0571199658; paperback; Biography / Women's Studies). The life, loves, and adventures of Emily Hahn. A feminist trailblazer before the word existed, Hahn wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for The New Yorker from 1925 to 1995, as well as fifty books in many genres. As Roger Angell wrote in her obituary in The New Yorker: She was, in truth, something rare: a woman deeply, almost domestically, at home in the world. Driven by curiosity and energy, she went there and did that, and then wrote about it without fuss.

British Security Coordination : The Secret History of British Intelligence in the Americas , 1940-1945 , by Nigel West (Fromm International; 088064236X Hardcover; History / British). In 1940 Winston Churchill dispatched a Canadian industrialist to New York with an extraordinary mission in a neutral country: to set up a secret spy network across both North and South America to cripple and confound Nazi propaganda and to fan the flames of pro-war sentiment. Sir William Stephenson (of A Man Called Intrepid fame) set up shop in Rockefeller Center to build a vast intelligence network-the British Security Coordination-the full story of which is now told for the first time. Nigel West, a military historian specializing in security matters, is the author of A Matter of Trust : MI5 1945-72 and The Secret War for the Falklands.

Devil Take the Hindmost , by Edward Chancellor (Farrar Straus Giroux; 0374138583; hardcover; History / Finance) Focusing on speculation as it developed in the world's leading stock markets, Edward Chancellor's story starts with the tulipomania in seventeenth-century Holland, then moves to Britain with accounts of speculative manias such as the South Sea Bubble and the Railway Mania. From the mid-nineteenth century, the narrative turns to the United States, with chapters on the Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and the revival of speculation since the early 1970s, then portrays the disastrous Bubble Economy of Japan in the 1980s. Chancellor shows that the impulses that have shaped speculative behavior are at odds with the orthodox theory of efficient markets. His comprehensive history is interspersed with trenchant commentary on speculation in the 1990s, including such current issues as emerging markets, Internet and foreign-currency speculation, rogue traders, the great U.S. bull market, and our current financial predicament.

Waging Peace : Israel and the Arabs at the End of the Century , by Itamar Rabinovich (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374105766; Hardcover; Politics / Current Events). A senior Israeli diplomat offers a new program for peace in the Middle East. The conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors have lasted for more than half a century. How can they be ended? In this important book, a noted expert goes beyond the old formulas to suggest new ways to normalize international relations in the Middle East.

The Civil War Chronicle : The Only Day-By-Day Portrait of America's Tragic Conflict As Told by Soldiers, Journalists, Politicians, Farmers, Nurses, Slaves, and Other Eyewitnesses , by J. Matthew Gallman (Editor) and Eric Foner (Introduction) (Crown Publishing; 0812931149; hardcover; 11/7/2000; History) An exhaustive, illustrated chronology that provides a day-to-day view of America's bloodiest conflict, in the words of hundreds of eyewitnesses -- soldiers, slaves, journalists, and civilians. Renowned Civil War historian J. Matthew Gallman assembles hundreds of primary sources in this oversized volume to examine the Civil War chronologically, beginning with Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860 and the firing on Fort Sumter a few months later, through the pivotal battles that followed, Lee's assassination barely a week later.

Operation Rollback , by Peter Grose (Houghton Mifflin; 0395516064; hardcover; History) Story of the uncovering of US' secret strategy of sabotage, subversion, espionage and the formenting of popular uprisings in Eastern Europe following the second World War.

The Idea of India , by Sunil Khilnani (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0374525919; paperback; Foreign Affairs). The key book on India in the postnuclear era, with a new Introduction by the author. Our appreciation of the importance of India can only increase in light of the recent revelations of its nuclear capabilities. Sunil Khilnani's exciting, timely study addresses the paradoxes and ironies of this, the world's largest democracy. Throughout his penetrating, provocative work, he illuminates this fundamental issue: Can the original idea of India survive its own successes?

Breakout : The Chosin Reservoir Campaign , Korea 1950 , by Martin Russ (Fromm International; 0880642319; hardcover; History). On November 27, 1950, a Chinese army of some 60,000 men poured over Korea's border, intent on wiping out a force of 12,000 Marines marching north to the Yalu River on General Douglas MacArthur's orders. The Marines were strung out along a narrow mountain road snaking its way up to the high plateau of the Chosin Reservoir. As the mercury dropped to a bone-chilling 30 degrees below zero, eight Chinese divisions emerged from hiding to pounce on the unsuspecting Americans. How the Marines, despite serious losses, broke out of encirclement while inflicting grueling punishment on the enemy is one of the most stirring sagas in the history of American arms. Step by bloody step, the Marines--given up for lost by headlines in the U.S.--fought their way back down the same precipitous road, miraculously taking their dead and wounded with them as they ran the ferocious gauntlet of unceasing Chinese attacks. Weaving into his account the voices of scores of individuals--ordinary Marines and their officers--Russ creates an unforgettable portrayal of the terror and courage of men as they face sudden death under the most horrendous conditions, making the bloody battles of the Korean hills and valleys come alive as they never have before.

How to Hack a Party Line : The Democrats and Silicon Valley , by Sara Miles (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374177147; hardcover; 1/31/01; Current Affairs / Politics) The gripping story of the emergence of a powerful new force in American politics. How to Hack a Party Line is the first book to explain the political significance of the high-technology industry. It shows the birth of a relationship between the new millionaires of the information age and the Washington insiders that will shape the politics of the twenty-first century.

Lifting the Fog of War , by Adm. William A. Owens (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374186278; hardcover; Military Affairs) A brilliant white paper on the changing face of war and the future of the military.

Duty , by Bob Greene (William Morrow; 0380978490; hardcover; History) A father's death leads his son to an unlikely friendship with the pilot who flew the atomic bomb to Hiroshima, in their moving and powerful tribute to the ordinary heroes of an extraordinary time.

The Tipping Point , by Malcolm Gladwell (Little Brown; 0316316962; hardcover; Current Affairs / Politics) Offers an incisive and piquant theory of social dynamics that is bound to provoke a paradigm shift in our understanding of mass behavioral change.

Constantine's Sword : The Church Against the Jews : A History , by James Carroll (Houghton Mifflin; 0395779278; hardcover; 1/10/01; History) In a bold and moving book that is sure to spark heated debate, the novelist and cultural critic James Carroll maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-year course of the battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle of religion, this dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture. The Church's failure to protest the Holocaust -- the infamous "silence" of Pius XII -- is only part of the story: the death camps, Carroll shows, are the culmination of a long, entrenched tradition of anti-Judaism.

It's My Party , by Peter Robinson (Warner Books; 0446526657; hardcover; Politics) Ronald Reagan won the cold war turned the economy around and set an example of sanity that riddles today's Republicans with angst - including not long ago author and former White House insider Peter Robinson. Without economic woes and the Soviets what's left for the party to stand for? It's My Party maps Robinson's journey to find the answer.

Blood of the Liberals , by George Packer (Farrar Straus & Giroux; 0374251428; hardcover; History / Memoir) Well known journalist and novelist explores the legacy and future of American liberalism through his own family's active political history. In-depth examination of the meaning of politics in American lives.

Patrick O'Brian : A Life Revealed , by Dean King (Henry Holt & Company; 0805059768; hardcover; Biography) The Untold life story of a novelist whose greatest fictional creation was his own identity.

In Harm's Way : The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors , by Doug Stanton (Henry Holt; 0805066322; hardcover; 4/4/01; History) On July 30, 1945, after completing a top secret mission to deliver parts of the atom bomb "Little Boy," which would be dropped on Hiroshima, the battle cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained, undetected by the navy, for nearly five days. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to survive, fighting off hypothermia, sharks, physical and mental exhaustion, and, finally, hallucinatory dementia. By the time rescue -- which was purely accidental -- arrived, all but 321 men had lost their lives; 4 more would die in military hospitals shortly thereafter. Interweaving the stories of three survivors -- Charles Butler McVay, the captain; Lewis Haynes, the ship's doctor; and Private Giles McCoy, a young marine -- journalist Doug Stanton has brought this astonishing human drama to life in a narrative that is at once immediate and timeless.

One Drop of Blood : The American Misadventure of Race , by Scott L. Malcomson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 0374240795; hardcover; 10/4/2000; History) Why has a nation dedicated to freedom and universal ideals continually produced, through its obsession with race, an unhappily divided people? Scott L. Malcomson's search for an answer took him to communities across the country and deep into our past. From Virginia colonists going native onward, Malcomson argues, Americans, in their mania for self-invention, pioneered an idea of race that gave it unprecedented moral and social importance. From Puritan enslavement of Indians to the dramas of separatism we enact daily in our schools and neighborhoods, Americans have perpetually engaged with and fled from other Americans along racial lines. By not only recounting our shared tragicomedy but helping us to own it -- even embrace it -- this redemptive book offers a way to move forward.

Day of Infamy , by Walter Lord (Henry Holt; 0805068031; paperback; 5/1/01; History) Sunday, December 7, 1941, was, as President Roosevelt said, a date which will live in infamy. Day of Infamy is a fascinating account of that unforgettable day's events. In brilliant detail Walter Lord traces the human drama of the freak attack: the spies behind it; the Japanese pilots; the crews on the stricken warships; the men at the airfields and the bases; the Japanese pilot who captured an island single-handedly when he could not get back to his carrier; the generals, the sailors, the housewives, and the children who responded to the attack with anger, numbness, and magnificent courage.

Marie Antoinette , by Evelyne Lever (Farrar Straus & Giroux; 0374199388; hardcover; Biography) Fast-paced historical narrative of France's last queen from her birth in Vienna in 1755 through her turbulent and unhappy marriage to Louis XVI the turmoil of the French Revolution her trial for treason and final beheading. A riveting new biography of the legendary French queen.

Nathaniel's Nutmeg : The True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History , by Giles Milton (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 0374219362; Hardcover; History/Naval). A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas. The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored. Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular deals in history: Britain ceded Run to Holland but in return was given Manhattan. This led not only to the birth of New York but also to the beginning of the British Empire.

The url of this page is http://www.crimsonbird.com/history/books.htm

Site main index :
Book Reviews - All Categories
 >> Link back to the
History and Biography index page
 >> Book descriptions received
from FSB Associates
Book Stores & Book Reviews Magazines VHS Video & DVD Music CDs Consumer Electronics Cameras & Photo Supplies Software Toys & Games Jewelry Stores Kitchen Appliances, Cookware, Dinnerware, Utensils Lawn - Gardening - Patio Tools & Hardware MORE ... (site main index)