Category Archives: History

“Beauty is a Wound” by Eka Kurniawan

I read this book for an Indonesian class, but also read the English translation. It’s not a book I would have chosen to read on my own initiative as I’m not a fan of magical realism, but I thought I’d … Continue reading

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Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman

In my high school history class, my teacher described Henry Clay as the most important American politician who never became president. In Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman, Harlow Giles Unger’s new biography of Clay reminds us why. Clay was a … Continue reading

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“Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” by Joby Warrick

For most of my adult life, the United States has been at war against radical jihadist groups. On September 11, 2001, I remember watching as smoke rose from the Pentagon. Initially, our response seemed clear: wipe out Al-Qaeda. However, 14 years later, not … Continue reading

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“The President and the Apprentice” by Irwin F. Gellman

History is storytelling that relates to people, places, and events that actually existed at one point in time. Yet, history is still storytelling, so our understanding of history very much depends on who tells the story and why. This means that some stories we had once … Continue reading

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“The Richest Man Who Ever Lived” by Greg Steinmetz

I’ve always wondered why some historical figures attract so much attention from biographers, whereas others who had accomplished just as much languish in obscurity. Artists like Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564) have been the subject several exhaustive biographies and even … Continue reading

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