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book review



  • When Monuments Become the Narrative (review)

    "Leopold’s Legacy" by Oliver Leu is the most timely of books. It details how Belgian monuments to empire sustain narratives that abdicate responsibility, divert blame, and ultimately deny Belgium’s role in the mutilation and murder of millions of people.



  • The Book of Smells

    Historian Robert Muchembled’s new history is full of disgusting, delicious details about early modern France.



  • America’s Immigration Paradox

    A review of Jia Lynn Yang's new work "One Mighty and Irresistible Tide," and Adam Goodman's "The Deportation Machine."



  • The (Yelling) Mothers of Us All

    by Rachel Shteir

    A review of Leandra Zarnow's biography of Bella Abzug, "Battling Bella: The Protest Politics of Bella Abzug."



  • Two Histories of Financiers Profiting From Real Estate While Homeowners Go Belly Up

    by Jennifer Szalai

    “Homewreckers,” by Aaron Glantz and “Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership,” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor show what happens when private speculators get buoyed by government largess while non-tycoons are largely left to fend for themselves.



  • Review of “The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists”

    by Christine Talbot

    “Lisa Pace Vetter’s book, The Political Thought of America’s Founding Feminists, examines the political theories of seven women who were central figures in American political thought, despite their exclusion from the contemporary canon."



  • Are we telling the right story of America?

    Two historians explore the myths and truths that sustain a nation-state. THIS AMERICA: The Case for the Nation By Jill Lepore. Liveright. 150 pp. $16.95; THE HEARTLAND: An American History By Kristin L. Hoganson. Penguin. 399 pp. $30



  • Around the World with Mao Zedong

    by Ian Johnson

    Julia Lovell's "Maoism: A Global History" traces the surprisingly wide influence of Chinese Communism.