The book’s subtitle . . . is if anything an understatement. Joe Kennedy was personally involved in virtually all the history of his time. There has been no dearth of books about America’s royal family, but this one makes a solid case that the ur-Kennedy was the most fascinating of them all.Read on here. (You can find another review here, in the Wall Street Journal)
Also reviewed in the NYT: Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (Harper/HarperCollins), by Sean Howe (here); Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy From Slavery to Hip-Hop (W. W. Norton & Company), by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen (here); On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines—and Future (Alfred A. Knopf), by Karen Elliott House (here); and The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist (PublicAffairs), by John A. Jenkins (here).
The Nation is full of good stuff this week:
- Nicholas Guyatt reviews The Amistad Rebellion: The Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (Viking), by Marcus Rediker. Rediker "retell[s] the saga [of the famous slave revolt] from the perspective of the rebels themselves." Read on here.
- Samuel Moyn covers four books on China, totalitarianism, and famine. The review essay, available here, discusses the past and the future of "food politics" in China.
- Helen Epstein reviews, here, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Paul Tough, and Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (Crown), by Jonathan Kozol.
- John Connelly reviews, here, four books on Poland and the Holocaust.
Also reviewed in the WSJ: The Law of Superheroes (Gotham), by James Daily and Ryan Davidson (here); and Inventing the Christmas Tree (Yale University Press), by Bernd Brunner (here).
In the Chronicle of Higher Ed, subscribers may access a review, by Peter Monaghan, of James T. Patterson's The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America (Basic Books). As the title suggests, the book "argues that that one year was pivotal in postwar American politics, society, and culture."