In the News, December 2021
Posted 12.01.21: “Victor Davis Hanson's The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America weaves a rich definition of citizenship into his discussion of the current threats to this profoundly Western idea.... Hanson's writing is invariably enlightening because of his remarkable blend of timeliness and erudition.... No other writer is this prolific and consistently penetrating.” —Terry Scambray, American Thinker
Posted 11.24.21: Chosen as “Best Nonfiction Books of the Year” by Kirkus Reviews! Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age by David A. Price (“Incredibly well-written and well-researched, this fast-paced book reads like a novel. Highly recommended.”) and The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix by Howard Markel (“A brilliant addition to the literature on the history of biological discovery.”)
Posted 11.22.21: “Admirers are already aware of his skills in getting stories out of people via his Anatomy of a Song deep-dive columns for The Wall Street Journal or his verbal breakdowns of the same on the SiriusXM ‘Feedback' program. Now, he turns his attention to the history, the development, and the impact of the live experience.... The list of Marc Myers' sources...is too lengthy to mention, but suffice to say they offer many tales, reflections and anecdotes that haven't appeared in any other book or documentary. Every page offers a new revelation. Even more fascinating is how the book chronicles the evolution of the business.... Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There is one of the best books on music to come out recently, and its pure first-person, direct quote narrative is the ideal format.” — Bob Ruggiero, Houston Press
Posted 11.19.21: "Much has been written about James Watson's and Francis Crick's 'borrowing' of Rosalind Franklin's research into the structure of DNA. Howard Markel — physician, professor and gifted writer — tells the story again, setting scenes and shrewdly capturing the character and motivations of the central players.... Markel makes the gist and implication of these matters very clear, and his depiction of the clash of personalities is superb."—Katherine A. Powers, The Washington Post, on The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix by Howard Markel
Posted 11.14.21: Library Journal on Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There by Marc Myers: "For this oral history of the evolution of the rock concert, spanning 1950 to 1985, writer and music journalist Myers interviewed more than 90 performers, promoters, journalists, and photographers.... Myers deftly weaves a compelling narrative that documents decades of music and cultural history. This book places the live concert in context with the broader story of popular music; its insider perspectives have an immediacy that will appeal to a broad swath of music fans."
Posted 11.13.21: Library Journal on Purchasing Submission: Conditions, Power, and Freedom by Philip Hamburger "Hamburger explores federally mandated 'conditions'—that is to say, requirements imposed by the U.S. government on people and organizations in exchange for funding or other privileges.... Hamburger argues that these conditions violate constitutional rights, with little to no recourse for Americans.... Hamburger clearly and convincingly describes the problem and its impact.... A must-read for scholars concerned with government overreach."
Posted 11.12.21: The Wall Street Journal on Victor Davis Hanson's The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America: "Mr. Hanson, an accomplished classicist and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is one of the great amalgamators of American political writing. He has a particular gift for bringing together a dizzying array of events, controversies and ideas and making sense of them by advancing a coherent argument that incorporates thousands of years of history.... Mr. Hanson hits hard, but I don't find his analysis unfair or partisan. There is enormous value, moreover, in thinking about toxic political developments not as problems of the moment but as destructive pathologies to which all societies are prone at all times."—Barton Swaim
Posted 11.11.21: Four weeks on the New York Times Paperback Best Seller list! Eric Jager's The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France: "Thanks to the skillful recreation and meticulous research by author Eric Jager, in a story told here for the first time, medieval men and women come alive in scenes straight from today's tabloid headlines—and thensome.... A human drama made all the more thrilling for the fact that it is truth, not fiction.""
Posted 10.27.21: Eric Jager's The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France is #10 on the New York Times Paperback Best Seller list: "Sex, savagery, and high-level political maneuvers energize a splendid piece of popular history."
Posted 10.20.21: A New York Times Best Seller! Eric Jager's The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France is #11 on the paperback list: "Breathes astonishing vigor, realism and a remarkable modernity into a celebrated trial by combat.... A taut page-turner with all the hallmarks of a good historical thriller: superb pacing, plot twists, dramatic tension and a fully fleshed cast of characters.... An enriching total immersion."
Posted 10.20.21: Eric Jager's book joins Victor Davis Hanson's The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Posted 10.14.21: A New York Times Best Seller! Victor Davis Hanson's The Dying Citizen: How Progressive Elites, Tribalism, and Globalization Are Destroying the Idea of America is #7 on the hardcover nonfiction list and #6 on the combined print and e-book nonfiction list!
Posted 10.14.21: "An eye-opening journey....With a witty, conversational tone, Underhill leads readers on a trip through various aspects of the food industry.... Hopeful and enlightening commentary on the future."—Kirkus Reviews on Paco Underhill's How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Drink, forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.
Posted 10.04.21: "Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age, by David A. Price, tells the story of amazing men who invested their time and talents and developed a machine to help them decode the codes used by the Germans in World War II.... Price used recently declassified sources to bring this incredible story to print.... A gripping and wonderful read.”—Joan Steinberg, The Portland Press Herald
Posted 10.01.21: "A multifaceted account of the rise of the rock show.... A revealing, absorbing book."—Kirkus Reviews on Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There by Marc Myers.
Posted 09.24.21: Publishers Weekly on Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There by Marc Myers. "Myers surveys in this engrossing oral history five decades of rock concerts, and the ‘songwriters, producers, disc jockeys, managers, promoters, and artists [that] sided with the youth culture as it struggled to be heard.' Starting with the emergence of R&B in the late 1940s and ending with 1985's Live Aid benefit, he vividly recreates what went on behind the scenes, onstage, and in the crowds with intimate accounts from the people who were there.... Myers also offers a thoughtful overview of the considerable ways in which the rock landscape has shifted.... Eminently entertaining, this is sure to delight rock fans of all persuasions." Forthcoming from Grove in November.
Posted 09.22.21: "The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix captures the heart-pounding excitement, the unique personalities, and the interplay of chance, inspiration, doggedness, and sound scientific method that allowed for the decoding of DNA. Howard Markel's skills as a trained historian, a physician, and an accomplished writer allow this watershed moment in science to come alive and to be a page turner. A marvelous book!"—Abraham Verghese, M.D., professor of medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and author of Cutting for Stone. "Howard Markel's brilliant book examining the discovery of DNA is a ‘must-read' for biologists and historians. But this is also a book for every reader; it brings to life the discovery of life itself. From Watson, Crick, and Franklin to the dozens of characters that Markel includes, The Secret of Life covers vast and important ground…An indispensable work."—Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene.
Posted 08.12.21: Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Classics and History, prominent for his scholarship, teaching, and social and political commentary died Aug. 6 at age 89. His monumental four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War (1969–1987) was described by George Steiner as “the foremost work of history produced in North America in the 20th century.”... Kagan's gift was narrative: he was a superb story teller.... His other scholarly works include Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy (1990), which one critic called “lively and thoughtful...learned and passionate;” On the Origins of War and the Preservation of Peace (1995), praised as “vivid and vastly informative.... One of the most incisive books written on the causes of war;” his later one-volume synthesis of the war that sundered the ancient world, The Peloponnesian War (2003), of which one critic wrote, “Kagan's sumptuous style will enthrall readers who had not imagined that they would find the topic so absorbing;” and his most recent, Thucydides: The Reinvention of History (2009). (Yale News, 8.10.21)
Posted 08.06.21: "The Words That Made Us: America's Constitutional Conversation, 1760–1840 is Akhil Amar's most ambitious work yet, the first book of what he envisions to be a definitive three-volume reinterpretation of constitutional history and legal analysis. The work, with its comprehensive scope, incisive analysis, and storyteller's gifts, is frequently provocative and sweeping in its simultaneous grasp of politics and law.... Amar's use of biography and narrative history brings these stories to life."—Joel Seligman, Los Angeles Review of Books
Posted 07.30.21: A starred Kirkus review for The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA's Double Helix by Howard Markel: "A medical historian offers a new history of one of the 20th century's most significant scientific quests.... Markel, a Guggenheim fellow and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, has written one of the best.... A brilliant addition to the literature on the history of biological discovery."