Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review of Kill the Messenger

Schou, Nick. Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb. Nation Books, 2006. When Gary Webb’s series “Dark Alliance” was published in the San Jose Mercury News in 1996, it set off what was easily the … Continue reading

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Review of China Nurse, 1932-1939

On the front lines Ewen, Jean. China nurse, 1932-1939. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1981. Jean Ewen was a Canadian nurse who spent 6 years in China, working first with Catholic missionaries, then with the Chinese Communists’ 8th and New 4th … Continue reading

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Review of Decadence Mandchoue

Indefatigable reiteration Backhouse, Edmund Trelawny. Decadence Mandchoue: The China Memoirs of Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse. Ed. Derek Sandhaus. Hong Kong: Earnshaw, 2011. Make no mistake about it: Decadence Mandchoue is a work of pure fantasy, for the most part a … Continue reading

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Review of Reporting the Chinese Revolution: The Letters of Rayna Prohme

Letters from a fading past This book consists of a narrative by two editors, Baruch Hirson and Arthur Knodel, written around a few dozen letters by Rayna Prohme. Rayna was an American who, together with her husband Bill Prohme, ran … Continue reading

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Review of Ronald Radosh, Red Star Over Hollywood: The Film Colony’s Long Romance with the Left

Blacklist back-story Author Ronald Radosh has a back story himself, for those interested: once a Communist Party member himself, he quit, moved to the new “left”, then moved to the new “right” in the 1980s. I knew of him because … Continue reading

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Review of Robert Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789

Robert Middlekauff has read deeply in the history of the American revolution and the early republic. Moreover, he is interested in more than just a simple narrative; he is interested in causes and motives, as he shows in chaps. 20 … Continue reading

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Book reviews coming

If you haven’t recently looked at Amazon’s book reviews, these have undergone a massive change. The reviews are still there, but greatly diminished in utility. Perhaps the main value of the old book review system was that it allowed you … Continue reading

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