Grant by Ron Chernow (Historical Biography, 2017). Chernow, an award-winning biographer, tackles another key figure in American history in this, his latest book. He produces a richly detailed and forthright account of the man known to us as US Grant. With obvious sympathy and appreciation of his subject’s often underrated abilities, Chernow nonetheless doesn’t shy away […]Read more "REVIEWED: Grant"
The Mysterious Private Thompson by Laura Leedy Gansler (Civil War History, 2017). This true story is a carefully researched and capably written book from the author of an earlier book acclaimed by the LA Times as a Best book of 2002. It’s the latest (and the most even-handed) effort to tell the life of Sarah Emma Edmonds, the […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Mysterious Private Thompson"
The Great Rescue by Peter Hernon (War History, 2017). This book ably tells of an important but today little-known facet of America’s involvement in the First World War. When the massive struggle broke out, a number of civilian German ships found themselves stranded in ports around the then-neutral United States. This included the nearly-new luxury ocean […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Great Rescue"
Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd (English History, 2017). Of late, noted author Peter Ackroyd has been producing books on the history of England. This volume centers on the hectic and unstable seventeenth century, a time of constant political maneuverings, double-dealing and turmoil (both domestic and in foreign relations). There was one outright Civil War, the execution of […]Read more "REVIEWED: Rebellion"
Be Free Or Die by Cate Lineberry (Nonfiction/Civil War History, 2017). About a year into America’s Civil War, a enslaved man named Robert Smalls made an epic break for freedom from that hotbed of succession, Charleston, South Carolina. A skilled boatman and born leader, he was by this time the de facto pilot of a steamer […]Read more "REVIEWED: Be Free Or Die"
Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission by Bret Baier, with Catherine Whitney. (Historical Biography, 2017). The title of this fascinating and generally insightful book refers to the last 3 days of Mr. Eisenhower’s Presidency and the dual-purposed personal mission he set for himself over that time. On the one hand, he was intent on […]Read more "REVIEWED: Three Days in January"
The American Spirit by David McCullough (Nonfiction/Collected Speeches, 2017). The respected winner of a fistful of major history awards, David McCullough is also something of a familiar voice from his many appearances on Public television. He’s in demand as a commemorative speaker, as well, and this relatively brief (173-page) collection of speeches he has delivered over the years […]Read more "REVIEWED: The American Spirit"