The McKinley Mystery

President McKinley: Architect of the American Century by Robert W. Merry. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Hardcover, 624 pages, $35.This biography’s bold subtitle announces Robert W. Merry’s revisionist project. In the popular imagination, McKinley is a nondescript,...

Diana Trilling’s Search for a Hero

The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling by Natalie Robins. Columbia University Press, 2017. Hardcover, 424 pages, $33.“In the actual conduct of our lives Lionel and I silently accepted the premise that my first responsibility was to my home and family.” So...

A Life Told by a Critic

William Faulkner: A Life through Novels by André Bleikasten, translated by Miriam Watchorn with the collaboration of Roger Little. Indiana University Press, 2017. Hardcover, 511 pages, $50.In his Foreword to William Faulkner: A Life through Novels, Philip Weinstein...

American Imperialism and Its Discontents

The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire by Stephen Kinzer. Henry Holt, 2017. Hardcover, 306 pages, $28. As the subtitle suggests, this is a book about personality and politics, a group biography with a large cast, including...

The Dread Beneath

The War of the Worlds: From H. G. Wells to Orson Welles to Jeff Wayne, Steven Spielberg and Beyond by Peter J. Beck. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Paper, 408 pages, $30. No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being...

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