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Book Reviews - Biography/History
Book Review: “The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames” by Kai Bird
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
A biography that offers “a new understanding of what intelligence operatives can accomplish.” more
Book Review: “An Idea Whose Time Has Come” by Todd S. Purdum
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
The author shows how the Civil-Rights Act sowed the seeds of modern politics. more
Book Review: “Savage Harvest” by Carl Hoffman
Reviewed By Michael Damiano
A writer plumbs the riddle of a Rockefeller’s disappearance. more
Book Review: “Wilson” by A. Scott Berg
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A. Scott Berg—a Pulitzer Prize winner for his life... more
Book Review: “Junius and Albert’s Adventures in the Confederacy” by Peter Carlson
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A Civil War escape, the birth of reporting, and other adventures. more
Book Review: “Act of Congress” by Robert G. Kaiser
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The behind-the-scenes story of how the Dodd-Frank bill was made. more
Inside the South American Heart: Marie Arana’s “Bolívar: American Liberator”
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The former Post Book World editor talks about her vivid portrait of South American revolutionary Simon Bolívar. more
Book Review: “The Secretary: A Journey With Hillary Clinton From Beirut to the Heart of American Power” by Kim Ghattas
Reviewed By John Wilwol
Traveling with Hillary and the Supreme Court behind closed doors. more
Book Review: “Out of Order: Stories From the History of the Supreme Court” by Sandra Day O’Connor
Reviewed By John Wilwol
In Out of Order: Stories From the History of... more
Book Review: “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker” by Jennifer Chiaverini
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A novel imagines Mary Todd Lincoln’s relationship with her dressmaker, a former slave. more
Book Review: “The Entertainer” by Margaret Talbot
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
A local writer reflects on her actor father and Hollywood’s golden age. more
Book Review: “American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop” by Caroline de Margerie
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A colorful biography of a legendary Washington hostess. more
Book Review: “The Story of Ain’t” by David Skinner
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The evolution of Webster’s Third New International Dictionary. more
Book Review: “The Good Girls Revolt” by Lynn Povich
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The story of a historic sex-discrimination suit against Newsweek. more
Book Review: “Ike’s Bluff” by Evan Thomas
Reviewed By John Wilwol
Thomas' book examines how Eisenhower, at the dawn of the atomic age, kept the peace. more
Book Review: “Reinventing Bach” by Paul Elie
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A new spin on a classical composer. more
Book Review: “In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A Potomac writer crafts fiction from her childhood during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. more
Book Review: “Fire in the Belly” By Cynthia Carr
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A biography of the late David Wojnarowicz. more
Book Review: The Lady In Gold by Anne-Marie O'Connor
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I," the painting... more
Book Review: The Great Inversion by Alan Ehrenhalt
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
A look at America's ever-changing cities. more
Mrs. Nixon: A Novelist Imagines a Life
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
Few First Ladies were more elusive than Pat Nixon. Unlike... more
Into the Silence
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
Washington writer Wade Davis’s treatment of British attempts to reach... more
Mrs. Mattingly’s Miracle
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
There was a time when the debate over faith and... more
The Brilliant Disaster
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
On paper, the plan looked good: Under cover of American... more
Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
What makes a city great? Is it the skyline or... more
Colonel Roosevelt
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
Reading Edmund Morris on Teddy Roosevelt is like listening to... more
Bobby and Jackie: A Love Story
Reviewed By Leslie Milk
If you believe the majority of the post-Camelot books about... more
The World on a Plate: A Tour Through the History of America's Ethnic Cuisine
Reviewed By Cheryl Haser
Who knew that a Minnesota-born Italian who wasn’t fond of... more
Notorious in the Neighborhood: Sex and Families Across the Color Line in Virginia, 1787-1861
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
This collection of hundreds of stories of passion, jealousy, love,... more
Washington Schlepped Here: Walking in the Nation's Capital
Reviewed By Jessica Flint
A travel guidebook unlike most, Washington Schlepped Here is an... more
Sons of Mississippi: A Story of Race and Its Legacy
Reviewed By Molly Browne
The civil-rights struggles of the 1960s—“Deep South apartheid,” in Paul... more
Nerve Center: Inside the White House Situation Room
Reviewed By Aili Petersen
Since the Civil War, the White House has maintained an... more
America's Founding Fathers: Their Uncommon Wisdom and Wit
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
On the heels of his entertaining and informative America’s... more
All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
In 1988, Doug Wead did a study on presidential... more
America's First Ladies: Their Uncommon Wisdom, From Martha Washington to Laura Bush
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
Rarely are First Ladies mere accessories to their husbands... more
Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
In a small Maryland field flanked by the Potomac River... more
The American Porch: An Informal History of an Informal Place
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
Reading this book feels like sitting on a front... more
Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
In the 1970s, my older brother and I fantasized... more
They Went Whistling: Women Wayfarers, Warriors, Runaways, and Renegades
Reviewed By Sharon Liao
At the start of her book, Loudoun County resident and... more
America's First Families: An Inside View of 200 Years of Private Life in the White House
Reviewed By Courtney Rubin
Everything you never wanted to know about US presidents,... more
Great Dames: What I Learned from Older Women
Reviewed By Leslie Milk
There’s nothing like dame. A dame understands the importance of... more