book-reviews

John R. Coyne Jr.: ‘Saving the Republic’ book review

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John R. Coyne Jr.: ‘Saving the Republic’ book review

SAVING THE REPUBLIC: THE FATE OF FREEDOM IN THE AGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE Foreword by Victor Davis Hanson, Edited by Roger Kimball Encounter Books, $25.99, 400 pages Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion, a monthly magazine named for The Criterion, a British literary magazine edited by T.S. Eliot in the 1930s, […]


Claire Hopley: ‘The French Girl’ book review

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THE FRENCH GIRL By Lexie Elliott Berkley, $26, 304 pages By Claire Hopley The eponymous French girl of Lexie Elliott’s novel is called Severine. “Slim and lithe in a tiny black bikini, her walnut brown skin impossibly smooth,” she shows up at the French vacation house where Kate Channing and five friends, all newly graduated […]


John R. Coyne Jr.: ‘Media Madness’ book review

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John R. Coyne Jr.: ‘Media Madness’ book review

MEDIA MADNESS: DONALD TRUMP, THE PRESS, AND THE WAR OVER THE TRUTH By Howard Kurtz Regnery Publishing, $28.99, 256 pages The political war between conservatives and a largely liberal national media didn’t begin with Donald Trump. But with his election, it’s reached a new intensity. “The country’s top news organizations have targeted Trump with an […]


Philip Kopper: ‘La Belle Sauvage’ book review

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Philip Kopper: ‘La Belle Sauvage’ book review

LA BELLE SAUVAGE: VOLUME ONE OF THE BOOK OF DUST By Philip Pullman Knopf, $22.99, 449 pages As a reading child, to me the most interesting heroes were the scamps and troublemakers, kids with starch: Huck and even Nancy at her better moments, seafaring Jim Hawkins and smarmy Harvey Cheyne Jr. in “Captains Courageous.” The […]


Aram Bakshian Jr.: ‘The White King’ book review

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Aram Bakshian Jr.: ‘The White King’ book review

Although no three men could look less alike, short, graceful Charles I of England, fat, lumbering Louis XVI of France and shy, bearded Nicholas II of Russia had a lot in common. All three men were kindly, generous and of excellent private character. Unfortunately, all three were cursed with a fatal blend of obstinacy and […]


Muriel Dobbin: ‘The Mafia’s President’ book review

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Muriel Dobbin: ‘The Mafia’s President’ book review

THE MAFIA’S PRESIDENT: NIXON AND THE MOB By Don Fulsom St. Martin’s / Thomas Dunne, $27.99, 304 pages He was the 34th president of the United States and the only one forced from office by a scandal linked to a burglary. Richard Nixon was a chilling man who surrounded himself from his early political days […]


Joseph C. Goulden: ‘Gorbachev’ book review

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Joseph C. Goulden: ‘Gorbachev’ book review

GORBACHEV: HIS LIFE AND TIMES By William Taubman Norton, $39.95, 853 pages In the first sentence of William Taubman’s splendid biography, “Gorbachev: His Life and Times,” Mikhail Gorbachev speaks in the third person to say of himself, “Gorbachev is hard to understand.” Indeed he is. Mr. Gorbachev fought his way to the top of one […]


Gary Anderson: ‘The Road Not Taken’ book review

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Gary Anderson: ‘The Road Not Taken’ book review

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN: EDWARD LANSDALE AND THE AMERICAN TRAGEDY IN VIETNAM By Max Boot Liveright, $35, 768 pages Edward Lansdale is probably the greatest cold warrior that most Americans have never heard of. Max Boot has written a fascinating account of how this California college humorist, frat boy and advertising executive evolved into a […]


Aram Bakshian Jr.: ‘Empress of the East’ book review

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Aram Bakshian Jr.: ‘Empress of the East’ book review

EMPRESS OF THE EAST: HOW A EUROPEAN SLAVE GIRL BECAME QUEEN OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE By Leslie Peirce Basic Books, $32, 359 pages In the early 16th century, long before the advent of newspapers, one of the few sources for breaking news was the confidential correspondence carried on by sophisticated Italian diplomats and financiers. Thus, […]


Fred J. Eckert: ‘A Pope and a President’ book review

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Fred J. Eckert: ‘A Pope and a President’ book review

Someone picking up this book about the collapse of what Ronald Reagan so fittingly dubbed an “evil empire” might wonder about its subtitle: “The Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century.” Extraordinary? Absolutely. It was indeed such an astonishing change that right up until it was happening few would have believed it possible. But untold? […]