Page by Page: Book Reviews

The Geography of Political Dysfunction

Hill’s comprehensive work reflects a diverse skillset, straddling the disciplines of history, journalism, and political science, that lends to a linguistically captivating and informative explanation of Yemen’s experience of regional intervention, tribal patronage, and strongman politics.

Pow! Bam! Biff! Tales of the Comic Book Wars

Slugfest is a fun book for anyone interested in comic books, in American popular culture generally, or in the obsessive and sometimes pathological nature of business competition. But it is not the incisive book about this industry that still awaits its author.

Baseball and the Fate of America

William J. Ryczek aptly documents baseball’s generation of conflict through 1968, the year “America’s pastime” confronted racial militancy, Vietnam, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, and also the growing dominance of football.

The Black Conservative Lion in Winter

Those familiar with Sowell’s major works will find little here that has not been argued in his other books. For his fans, this consistency gives his arguments greater validity and provides greater comfort.

An Origin Story of the Black Elite

What we have in Black Fortune is not just a proto-black version of the Rich and the Famous, although it is on some level precisely that, but also another kind of origin story of the black elite or of a black economic elite or leisure class and how it saw its racial duties, this last being a major obsession with successful blacks.

What Price Victory?

Abrams may be the greatest First Amendment lawyer we have ever known. Abrams’s book, however, delivers only brief snippets of the fascinating war stories he must have to tell. Instead, as its title suggests, The Soul of the First Amendment deals in big, broad ideas.

The Great American Film

Isenberg has assembled an all-star cast of film critics, filmmakers, families of crew members, and fans from all walks of life to share their analysis, anecdotes and nostalgia for a film that Umberto Ecco has characterized as “‘not one movie; it is ‘movies.’”

The Man Behind The Prince

Context is all when it comes to Machiavelli, and Benner does a thorough job of providing it, including many of the lesser-known elements of his life story: the difficult missions on behalf of the Florentine government, the project of a citizen militia, his limited success in re-entering public service after the Medici restoration in 1512.

The American Debate Over Whether to be an Empire

Stephen Kinzer must be credited for producing an eminently readable account of the debate surrounding U.S. imperialism, which he characterizes—never shy of superlatives—as the “farthest-reaching debate in our history” and “the mother of all debates” on foreign policy.