Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sunday Book Reviews

The Case for Goliath: How America Acts as the World's Government in the 21st Century by Michael Mandelbaum. Reviewed in the Washington Post by Rich Lowry: "The Case for Goliath is an important and wise book. It is a reminder of how much depends on the American role in the world and how important is the (sometimes tenuous-seeming) bipartisan consensus in favor of it."

President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination by Richard Reeves. Reviewed in the New York Times by Adrian Wooldridge: "Reeves is unlikely to displace Lou Cannon as the Virgil of Reaganland. He spends too much time reciting the daily headlines; he sometimes loses sight of his central characters in the rush of events; the whole effect is of a story written from a distance rather than with insider's knowledge. Still, for all these faults, 'President Reagan' is a compelling read, fast-paced and scrupulously fair."

The Dream of Rome by Boris Johnson. Reviewed in the London Times by Godfrey Smith: "Here comes another politician not only writing a book on ancient Rome, but having the chutzpah to try and show us what we could learn from the Romans about making one Europe from a plethora of discordant parts. What's more, he makes a pretty good fist of it. . . . He knows just how to keep his class on the edge of their seats with a hail of modern allusions. His metaphors glitter; his similes soar."

Churchill and America by Martin Gilbert. Reviewed in the Boston Globe by David M. Shribman: "This is a portrait of Churchill's broader relationship with the United States, not simply his wartime relationship. It begins with his mother, who was American, and continues through his wilderness years, pauses at his 'Iron Curtain' speech at Fulton, Mo., touches on his often-forgotten peacetime administration in the 1950s, and brings the reader all the way to his honorary American citizenship at the end of his life."

Churchill and War by Geoffrey Best. Reviewed in the Boston Globe by John Lukacs: "Geoffrey Best carries the long history of 'Churchill and War' through the 60 years of Churchill's active life. . . . All through those years his plans and advocacies and directives of war issued not from the rigid mind of a martinet; to the contrary, his views of what war could (or could not) achieve were the results of a large-mindedness, towering over most of his political colleagues."


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