In another writer-director’s hands, this might seem gauche, but Waters loves and is fascinated by his own celebrity, and he wears it well.
War, sex, friendship, betrayal, celebrity, rivalry, jealousy, idealism, foolishness and foppery—all this and more gather in the lobby of Madrid’s Hotel Florida.
What can a new biographer add? “Gandhi Before India” by Ramachandra Guha, India’s leading historian, offers plenty...it deals with Gandhi’s life up to 1914...Gandhi’s biographers usually pass over this period in a rush to get to the main show in India. But Mr Guha argues his “African Gandhi” is every bit as worthy of attention as the later man.
Ms Gall’s narrative would have been stronger if she had balanced what she learned from Afghan intelligence sources, who are famously hostile (if for good reason) towards Pakistan’s army, with other views.
The story of a pair of unlikely heroes who crossed paths in Berlin in 1890 and forever changed the landscapes of medicine and literature....A beguiling real-life medical detective story.
He may be too optimistic about China and enlightened authoritarianism, and China will not for a long time, if ever, replace America as the safeguarder of the global commons.
While the truth of Rockefeller’s disappearance may never be known, Hoffman deserves much credit for this riveting, multilayered tale.
What makes Ms. Barish’s account of all this so fascinating is not just the unmasking of a high-level confidence trickster...I wish Ms. Barish had not wasted so much of her time on speculation and had been able to deliver better answers to the hard questions posed by the shocking life and career of Paul de Man.
Pilling concludes that Japan’s economic deflation, declining fertility, and rapidly aging population mirror worldwide trends in other developed countries, and the world has much to learn from Japan’s failures and successes.
Anne de Courcy tells her story through a mass of evocative detail and a host of memorable characters down the decades and centuries of British life in India. She can make you laugh or break your heart, but she will never bore you.
"The French Intifada," while fine as an introduction to the history of France's African colonies, suffers from shallowness...He relies too much on secondary sources and too little on the voices of North Africans themselves...But Mr. Hussey's portrayal of the tragedy of French colonialism is accurate and smart.
It is a fitting epilogue to 20th-century travel-writing and essential reading for devotees of Sir Patrick’s other works—though eclipsed by his earlier books and the world they conjured.
The opening chapter, on Hebel, is the most forceful, a piece of historical criticism conducted entirely from the armchair (not a seagull in sight).
Whitelock, whose previous book was an excellent biography of Mary Tudor, demonstrates her understanding that readers are at heart voyeurs, filling her “intimate history” with countless such details, both juicy and distasteful.
...Cameron crafts a more straightforward adventure with a narration that nicely captures an ordinary child’s way of thinking—and of blocking out unwelcome knowledge.
Danubia is a moving book, and also a sensuous one...Miniaturist in its eye for detail, grand in its scope, it skips beats and keeps our attention all the way.
...the Shanghai-based journalist charts the globalization of the recycling trade, focusing on the U.S. and China, and featuring a cast that ranges from self-made scrap-metal tycoons to late-night garbage pickers.
Macmillan, professor of international history at Oxford, follows her Paris 1919 with another richly textured narrative about WWI, this time addressing the war’s build-up.
Jung Chang is a vivid guide to these tumultuous decades, as readers of “Wild Swans”, her prize-winning 1991 book, would expect. She has a novelist’s eye for the telling detail...
There is something both exotic and magnetic about such people.” They are “artists of the air.” By the time you reach the book’s bittersweet conclusion you are convinced of this...