Tag: History

Nov 17 2017

The Daughter of Time (Inspector Grant #5) by Josephine Tey

The premise of this novel is so inherently flawed that the fact that it convinced me of Richard III’s innocence by the end is quite the achievement. Essentially a re-examining of the history of one of England’s most vilified regents, it begins because a bedridden Inspector Grant refuses to believe that such a “sensitive” face …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/11/17/the-daughter-of-time-inspector-grant-5-by-josephine-tey/

Oct 10 2017

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

How to review a book by one of the most polarizing politicians of recent memory describing an election campaign and aftermath that still elicit strong feelings from large swathes of the electorate? If you think Hillary Clinton is the devil incarnate, I’d be very surprised that you’d even consider reading this book, and then I’d …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/10/what-happened-by-hillary-rodham-clinton/

Oct 06 2017

The Last Man in Russia by Oliver Bullough

Oliver Bullough’s first book, Let Our Fame Be Great, examined the encounters between Russia and the smaller peoples of the Northern Caucasus. They generally ended badly for the smaller nations. In his second book, he looks at how the larger nation has fared. (At the time he wrote the book, he was Caucasus Editor for …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/10/06/the-last-man-in-russia-by-oliver-bullough/

Sep 13 2017

One Summer by Bill Bryson

The summer of 1927, to be precise. The summer that Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, that Babe Ruth returned to form and led the New York Yankees to dominate baseball, a summer that Calvin Coolidge didn’t have much to say (not that that was unique to 1927), the summer that Sacco and Vanzetti were …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/09/13/one-summer-by-bill-bryson/

Jul 02 2017

China Among Equals edited by Morris Rossabi

“Of interest mainly to specialists” is one of those phrases that reviewers often use to suggest, however gently, that a book is terribly dull and that no one outside of a select audience should read it. With a subtitle that reads The Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14th Centuries, China Among Equals is clearly aimed …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/07/02/china-among-equals-edited-by-morris-rossabi/

Jun 16 2017

Postwar by Tony Judt

Two things stand out for me about Postwar, by Tony Judt. First, it is a stupendous historical synthesis that aims to tell a mostly political history of all of Europe — East and West, North and South — from 1945 through its publication in 2005. Second, I should have been writing reflections about it as I …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/postwar-by-tony-judt/

Jun 16 2017

The Ottoman Endgame by Sean McMeekin

“So far from a sideshow to the First World War, the Ottoman theater was central to both the outbreak of European war in 1914 and the peace settlement that truly ended it.” (p. xviii) In The Ottoman Endgame, Sean McMeekin makes a strong argument that understanding the First World War without understanding the part of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/06/16/the-ottoman-endgame-by-sean-mcmeekin/

May 21 2017

The Accidental Terrorist by William Shunn

How does a Mormon missionary wind up facing charges of terrorism and conspiracy? In Canada, of all places? William Shunn’s memoir, The Accidental Terrorist, starts with him at nineteen answering questions for a detective. It’s hard to tell if he’s more disconcerted by the charges he faces or the woman facing him in a short, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/21/the-accidental-terrorist-by-william-shunn/

May 17 2017

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall

By the time Blair Tindall gets to the skills analysis that tells her she’s terrible at logic and analysis, I was so frustrated with this book that I said aloud, “You got that right.” Other things she gets right in the book: the fly-on-the wall look at the life of a professional classical musician of …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/05/17/mozart-in-the-jungle-sex-drugs-and-classical-music-by-blair-tindall/

May 15 2017

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

Reader, I devoured this book on my road trip to visit my in-laws over Mother’s Day weekend. It is, as the author admits, something of a ridiculous novel: a contemporary of Jane Eyre’s contemplates the similarities between their lives even as she herself, the titular Jane Steele, solves problems by means of murder, and finds …

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