It Has Come to My Attention; Book Prizes and Finalists, 2015. Part C

It Has Come to My Attention; Book Prizes and Finalists, 2015. Part C



Doomed to Succeed; The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama by Dennis Ross. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.  An active participant, he sees no usefullness in the distance that the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Obama Administrations kept  from our Isareli allies. National Jewish Book Awards.

Killing a King; The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron. W.W. Norton, 2015. The killing of Rabin by a Jewish fanatic helped destroy the Middle Eastern peace process; Israelis and Palestinians have never again been so close to an agreement. National Jewish Book Awards.

The Crime and the Silence; Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont & Alissaq Valles, trans. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016, paper. This slaughter in a small Polish town of its Jews was revealed only after the end of the Cold War. Here is an account of the public debate generated in Poland since 1989. National Jewish Book Awards.

KL; A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nickolaus Wachsmann. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016, paper. An account of the German camp system from its inception in 1933 to its collapse in the spring of 1945. National Jewish Book Awards.

What’s Divine about Divine Law? Early Perspectives by Christine Hayes. Princeton University Press, 2015. The first century debate on divine law, untangling the classical and biblical roots of the Western idea that included early Christians but also Hellenistic Jewish writers. National Jewish Book Awards.

The Burdens of Brotherhood; Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France by Ethan Katz. Harvard University Press, 2015. Jewish/Muslim relations in Franc-a-phone France from WWI to the present. National Jewish Book Awards.

Somewhere There is Still a Sun; A Memoir of the Holocaust by Michael Gruenbaum with Todd Hasak-Lowy. A young boy’s growin up in the Jewish ghetto in Prague. For young readers. Hasak-Lowy is a former Gainesvillian.  Aladdin, 2016, paper. National Jewish Book Awards.

Empire of Cotton; A Global History by Sven Beckert. Vintage, 2015, paper. The cotton and cotton textile trade in Europe was instrumental in the emergence of capitalism and also slavery in the Americas and Africa. Bancroft Prize.


The Empire of Necessity; Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World by Greg Grandin. Picador Press, 2105 paper. An experienced seaman comes upon an apparently a ship in distress carrying a cargo of West African slaves. It was discovered that they had seized the ship and killed most of its crew and passengers.  Bancroft Prize


Encounters at the Heart of the World; A History of the Mandan People by Elizabeth Fenn. Hill & Wang, 2015 paper. Their teeming, busy towns on the upper Missouri were a vital part of the economy of the western plains. Louis and Clark spent a winter with them.  Pulitzer Prize


The Pope & Mussolini; The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe by David Kertzer. Random House, 2015 paper. Both came to power in 1922; how their interactions shaped fascist Italy. Pius’s death in 1939 may have removed an ultimate opponent. Pulitzer Prize. National Book Award.


The Sixth Extinction; An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert Picador, 2015 paper. Pulitzer Prize. National Book Critics Circle. By burning fossil fuels, humans are changing the atmosphere, the oceans, and the climate causing massive extinctions. This sixth extinction is of a much different character than that of the first five.


Empire on the Edge; How Britain Came to Fight America by Nick Bunker.  Vintage, 2015 paper. Money, it turns out that money or lack of drove what turned out to be a limited interest in colonial Britain on the part of the public. Imperial Britain had no plan or guiding vision. Pulitzer Prize.

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