Regarp Book Reviews & Essays

By Stan Prager | Book reviews, essays and thought-provocative discussions about books new and old, both nonfiction and fiction.

Review of: Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir, by John Paul Stevens

I am more than a little late to serve as an early reviewer for <i>Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir</i>, by John Paul Stevens, which I obtained based upon …

John Paul Stevens

Cleaning George W. Gould’s Gravestone

<b>Before (L.) and After (R.) … Today, July 15, 2019, I made the long drive to Paxton, MA with the express purpose of cleaning the gravestone of my</b> …

Algae

Review of: The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914 by Barbara Tuchman

Reading <i>The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914,</i> by Barbara Tuchman, reminds us of a style of narrative history that no …

Anarchism

Review of: 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, by Eric H. Cline

I had looked forward to reading <i>1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed</i> by Eric H. Cline, as it came to me from a friend with whom I share a …

Bronze Age

Current Reads

Thought I would add a list of what I am currently reading. I usually read several books at the same time. Some I finish, some I abandon, some I …

Review of: Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

One hundred years ago — on May 7, 1915 — without warning a German submarine deliberately targeted and torpedoed the massive British passenger liner</i> …

James Cameron

Review of: Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill, by Candice Millard

The best book I ever read about Theodore Roosevelt was actually about a river, with T.R. in a supporting role. By lending focus to just a single …

Winston Churchill

Review of: Dominion of Memories: Jefferson, Madison & the Decline of Virginia by Susan Dunn

If you have ever wondered, as I have, what possibly could have happened to the Virginia of the Founders’ generation that saw it fall from prominence …

Virginia

Review of: North Korea: State of Paranoia by Paul French

Despite my own conceit that I possess a fairly broad understanding of international politics and geography, the truth is that like most Americans I …

North Korea

About the Reviewer

Stan Prager has a lifetime passion for books, history and literature. He owns a computer services company and has a Master’s in Public History with a …

American Civil War

Podcasts

<b>PODCAST#5 … Review of Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy, by David O. Stewart</b><p><b>A printed version of</b> …

Podcasting

Review of: Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps, by Amy Murrell Taylor

From the start of the Civil War, enslaved African Americans sensed the opportunity for freedom as Union forces seized territory at the outer margins …

Refugees

Review of: The War for the Common Soldier: How Men Thought, Fought and Survived in Civil War Armies, by Peter S. Carmichael

A few years ago, I had the honor of being selected for a key role on a team engaged in scanning, transcribing and digitizing a trove of recently …

Review of: Wanting, by Richard Flanagan

Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan has written seven novels, one of which—<i>Gould’s Book of Fish</i>—I would rank among the very finest of twenty-first …

Review of: Life in Deep Time: Darwin’s “Missing” Fossil Record, by J. William Schopf

As a reader, some of my most serendipitous finds have been plucked off the shelves of used bookshops. Such was the case some years ago with <i>Cradle of</i> …

Review of Egypt: Lost Civilizations, by Christina Riggs

Apparently, Sigmund Freud spent the final year of his long and productive life as a refugee from the Nazi menace, in a house in London that is now a …

Egypt

Review of: The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps, by Edward Brooke-Hitching

A small island called “Bermeja” in the Gulf of Mexico that was first charted in 1539 was—after an extensive search of the coordinates—found to be a …

Maps

Review of: The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, by Edward L. Ayers

<b>PODCAST … Review of The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America, by Edward L. Ayers</b><p>When I was growing up in the …

War

Review of: Imagine John Yoko, by John & Yoko Lennon

It was late and I was on my way home, rock n’ roll blasting on the car radio. It was the one-week anniversary of our very first apartment together as …

Review of: Presidents of War, by Michael Beschloss

The Founders sought a separation of powers in war-making, as in so much else of consequence to the new Republic, so the Constitution mandated that …

Review of: Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over Civil Rights, by Steven Levingston

The fifty-five years since John F. Kennedy was assassinated has seen his standing rise considerably among both historians and the general public, …

Robert F. Kennedy

Review of: Killing Commendatore, by Haruki Murakami

Imagine the frustration of reading a novel of nearly seven hundred pages by one of your favorite authors to find it not only unfulfilling but just …

Review of: Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House, by Joseph A. Esposito

“I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House with the …

Review of: Fear: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

I can think of no greater example of cognitive dissonance than my recent experience of alternating between reading a biography of James Madison by …

Review of: The Fearless Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Dwarf Who Became the First Revolutionary Abolitionist, by Marcus Rediker

Imagine this: a hunchbacked dwarf living in early Enlightenment-era England, variously a farmhand, shepherd and glovemaker, but also a devoted …

Review of: First Person: A Novel, by Richard Flanagan

I have often observed that if you watch films produced in the early 1990s, at first glance the world does not look so strikingly dissimilar from the …

Review of: Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, by Rick Perlstein

Forty-four years ago this very month, as this review goes to press, Richard Nixon became the first American President to resign that office, on the …

Review of: The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham

<i>Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot</i> …