Review: Eleanor Roosevelt, vol. 1, 1884-1933: The Early Years – Blanche Wiesen Cook

It’s a rare individual for whom I could stand to read a three-volume biography but I think Eleanor Roosevelt deserves one. Her life was so full, so involved and dynamic and controversial than any less would simply not be doing her justice. In many ways Eleanor’s life can very easily be divided into three parts this biography takes – her… Read more →

Review: The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco – Marilyn Chase

The bubonic plague outbreaks of 1900-1908 are a forgotten footnote in San Franciscan history, lost amidst the drama of the city’s early Gold Rush years and the trauma of the great earthquake of 1906. Yet for those eight years, the city was in the grip of the United States’ first outbreak of plague, which affected almost all life in San… Read more →

Review: The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House – Daniel Mark Epstein

Although you don’t often hear it amidst all the enduring myths surrounding the American Revolution, more than anything else it was a civil war. The ‘rebellion against tyranny’ was far from universal, and historians estimate as many as one third of the population of the colonies remained loyal to the Crown. It was a war of colony against mother country,… Read more →