Though MacMillan tries to steer a neutral course, it is clear in this important work where her sentiments lie. It won’t be the final word in this debate though.
What makes reading this new biography so provocative are the similarities between the challenges faced by the Qing court a century ago and those confronting the Chinese Communist Party today.
Appropriately, his prose is lighter than air, elegantly traversing aviators and eras. It means that as his balloonists embark on journeys full of danger and wonder, the reader is suspended in the basket alongside them.
It’s fitting that Mr. Shorto uses Amsterdam’s water problems as a prime example of what cooperative effort can accomplish.
There’s the Yugoslavian janitor who studied for 12 years to earn his classics degree...There’s no judgment, just observation and in many cases reverence, making for an inspiring reading and visual experience.
While it would be easy to mock some of Tesson's haughtiest moments as typical Parisian high-mindedness, the fact he's so unabashed about his soul-searching is what sets the book apart from the typical 21st-century memoir.
One of the joys of this hefty book is Mr. Hastings‘ narrative skill. He provides the wide-lens approach to the broad political environment, but he spices the long view with attention to the quotidian details of his characters and their inner lives that makes for a very human story.
Dikötter sustains a strong human dimension to the story by skilfully weaving individual voices through the length of the book.
Armor and Blood recounts the details of history’s greatest armored battle and a turning point of World War II, bringing it into sharp focus and out of the mists of propaganda and myth.
A compelling, instructive account regarding education in America, where the arguments have become “so nasty, provincial, and redundant that they no longer lead anywhere worth going."
Gezari eschews humor but delivers a gripping report on another of America’s painful, surprisingly difficult efforts to win hearts and minds.
The book’s broader achievement is that it reveals the incompetence and deceit of Lawrence’s British superiors in shaping the postwar Middle East. It also offers a revealing account of other British agents and those from the United States and Germany in the remarkable events of the period.
It makes you wish that the world's cultures could mingle more freely, making peace by breaking bread. For now, though, this book stands as a tantalizing glimpse of what might be.
-not to mention the marvelous entertainment it provides.
Although, unlike Alan Johnson's new memoir of the same period, this narrative never quite conveys the brutish conditions inside slums designated for clearance...
“The Love-charm of Bombs” excels in demonstrating that these years of bleakness and loss were also, for a fortunate few, a time of extraordinary excitement and literary inspiration.
Readers will find Studwell’s informative and balanced report eye-opening.
Glass's history might be one of the best ways of relaying the experience of war: through the eyes of the young men who charged into the line of fire, gave up the ghost, and whose only reward was living to tell the tale.
As Tim Parks’ journeys reflect a gloriously imperfect, ever-evolving nation, they also provide readers with a clear-eyed companion worth keeping.
...an often inspiring feat of narrative non-fiction, though it could never be as thrilling as the victory of those nine boys from Washington state on a windy day in Berlin once upon a very dark time.