History

The Plateau by Maggie Paxson - Book Review

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$28.00
ISBN: 9781594634758
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 13th, 2019

Anthropologist, Maggie Paxson is haunted by war and the people who are devastated by it. Having worked all over the world she has borne witness to just about every form of brutality & heartbreaking tenderness. On the Plateau, a remote place (S.E.France) of reserved, hard lived communities, she finds a history of being a safe haven for refugees; in the distant past, during WWII and right now. Through the story Daniel Trocme (one Israel's " Righteous Among Nations" ) & his "crickets" - children from all over Europe that he fought so quietly but ferociously to protect. Maggie discovers wondrous links to today's refugees (stories of hard won survival and finds a link to her own life- and it raises many questions. This book deserves to be on the shelf next to Frankel's Man's Search for Meaning, Eger's The Choice & Wiesel's Trilogy. I could not put this book down! ~ Reviewed by Maeve Noonan


Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution by Denise Kiernan - Book Review

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$15.99
ISBN: 9781683691273
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Published: Quirk Books - April 30th, 2019

James Madison and Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Alexander Hamilton and Jacob Broom, and dozens of other men labored in the sweltering summer of 1787 with a rare goal. After nearly four months of persuasion, politicking, and perseverance, a document of striking originality emerged, and survives, with amendments, to this day: the United States Constitution. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence by Denise Kiernan - Book Review

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$15.99
ISBN: 9781683691266
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Published: Quirk Books - April 30th, 2019

Delightful dossiers of the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. For every luminary like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, there stand George Clymer, Carter Braxton, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and other forgotten patriots that deserve remembrance for willingly placing their fortunes, their families, and their lives at risk with their signatures. ~ Reviewed by Mike Hare


Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer - Book Review

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$30.00
ISBN: 9780307958020
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Published: Knopf - May 7th, 2019

From the time he was shipped off to work in Vietnam with the Foreign Service in 1962, Richard Holbrooke dreamed of becoming Secretary of State. While Holbrooke never reached that lofty office, a case can be made that he was one of America's most brilliant diplomats. The summit of his achievements were the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995, which brought peace to the warring factions of the former Yugoslavia. But Holbrooke was also a shamelessly ambitious egomaniac who treated both friends and enemies in an appalling fashion. He's found the perfect biographer in New Yorker journalist George Packer, author of The Unwinding. Packer treats Holbrooke's meteoric rise and fall as a combination of a Joseph Conrad and Game of Thrones, with a tableau that stretches from the Mekong Desert to Kabul to the darkest corners of the Harry S. Truman building. His book is both a political masterclass—turns out the men's room is where the real power negotiations go down—and an unforgettable portrait of a man who would have been as comfortable chatting with the Borgias as he was advising presidents from Johnson to Obama. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe - Book Review

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$28.95
ISBN: 9780385521314
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Published: Doubleday - February 26th, 2019

The disappearance of a mother-of-ten in 1972 from her Belfast tower block is the unexpected starting point for Keefe's marvelous history of the Troubles, the sectarian violence that raged between the IRA and the Loyalists in the last third of the 20th century. During that time, disappearances, bombings and assassinations rocked Belfast as walls went up between communities that identified as Catholic and Protestant. Keefe grabs the reader by the throat as he sketches in the personalities of IRA leader Gerry Adams, foot soldiers like the glamorous Dolours Price, the British intelligence officer known as "the Butcher of Belfast," and hunger striker Bobby Sands. He also recreates a time when safety depended on how much one was willing to deny their own identity and to “say nothing.” It's the finale of the book which is truly jaw-dropping, though. Scores are settled, peace is brokered, and an ambitious oral history conducted by Boston College brings secrets (and bodies) to light. Keefe has one hell of a story to tell and he navigates each twist and turn with the smarts of a Belfast cab-driver. Easily a book of the year. ~ Reviewed by Charles Bottomley


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