United States

Max Holleran reviews 'Fortress America: How we embraced fear and abandoned democracy' by Elaine Tyler May

Max Holleran
26 April 2018

On a Saturday afternoon shortly before Christmas in 1984, Bernhard Goetz was riding the New York City subway. Goetz, who is white, was approached by four black screwdriver-wielding teenage More

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'Franklin D. Roosevelt: A political life' by Robert Dallek

Andrew Broertjes
26 April 2018

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is consistently ranked alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents of the United States. His greatness rests on two pillars. More

Andrew Broertjes reviews 'The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton' by William E. Leuchtenburg

Andrew Broertjes
29 August 2017

The president of the United States looms large in contemporary politics, a powerful figure dominating news and popular culture: from newly elected president Donald Trump bestriding (or, depending on your political leanings, besmirching) the world stage, to Kevin Spacey as the Machiavellian Frank Underwood in House of Cards. For the modern observer, it is di ... More

James McNamara reviews 'Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus' by Matt Taibbi and 'How The Hell Did This Happen? The Election of 2016' by P.J. O’Rourke

James McNamara
21 April 2017

Beneath a frantic veneer of normalcy, American politics is not okay. It is as if Punch and Judy have careened out of a dive bar, tripped down the rabbit hole, smashed head-first through the looking glass, and found themselves running all three branches of government. Core to this is that unlikely combination of words, President Donald Trump.

As I write in Ap ... More

David Smith reviews 'The Making of Donald Trump' by David Cay Johnston

David Smith
23 September 2016

This is an angry book. David Cay Johnston has been doing investigative reporting on Donald Trump's business practices for nearly three decades, and this book is a compilation of ...

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James McNamara reviews 'Dark Money: The hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right' by Jane Mayer

James McNamara
23 September 2016

When I arrived in America, green card in hand, I soon got down to my favourite pastime: discussing politics over grain-based liquor. I was surprised to find that President Barack ...

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Glenn Moore reviews 'Masters of Empire: Great Lakes Indians and the making of America' by Michael A. McDonnell

Glenn Moore
27 April 2016

Michael McDonnell knew he had a bestseller on his hands. Historical biographies regularly top the New York Times bestseller list, and his research uncovered a larger than life figure named Charles de Langlade. Born in 1729 to an Indian mother and a French-Canadian father, Langlade grew up straddling two cultures, but that did not stop him from becoming a le ... More

'Letter from New Orleans' by Kevin Rabalais

Kevin Rabalais
18 December 2015

The streets of New Orleans double as scented gardens for the blind. Round any corner in the Vieux Carré – known to most as the French Quarter – and experience the assault of sensory details. It might start with a spicy tang of boiling seafood, crawfish, or shrimp or crabs plucked from the amphibious Louisiana land. Maybe it's frying beignets or praline mixture ... More

Glenn Moore reviews 'The Half Has Never Been Told' by Edward E. Baptist

Glenn Moore
27 November 2015

There is something pleasurable about a good American history book. I recall reading David Hackett Fischer's Paul Revere's Ride (1994) on a train journey from Boston to Washington. I read it not because I was teaching about Paul Revere, but because it was a fine work, true to a tradition in which, as Fischer put it, books 'are a sequence of stories, with hig ... More

Kevin Rabalais reviews 'Deep South' by Paul Theroux

Kevin Rabalais
26 November 2015

The traveller, as V.S. Naipaul describes that role in A Turn in the South (1989), 'is a man defining himself against a foreign background'. Over the past forty years, Paul Theroux has built his career writing books, nearly fifty novels and travelogues, to become an exemplar of that definition. He seeks always to go farther and deeper, often journeying, to b ... More