New Books Network

Amanda MacKenzie Stuart, “Empress of Fashion: Diana Vreeland, A Life”
The title says it all: Diana Vreeland was, in fact, that Empress of Fashion, reigning over Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute for half a century. As a result, her life story stretches the conventions of biography, which so often presents mid-century women’s lives merely... Read More
Logan Beirne, “Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency” (Encounter Books, 2013)
You sometimes see bumper stickers that say “What would Jesus do?” It’s a good question, at least for Christians. You don’t see bumper stickers that say “What would Washington do?” But that, Logan Beirne says, is a question Americans should be asking. In Blood of Tyrants: George Washington & the... Read More
Michael Burlingame, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” (Paperback; Johns Hopkins UP, 2013)
What can be gained from another biography of Abraham Lincoln? A lot, it turns out. Michael Burlingame has been researching the life and times of Abraham Lincoln during his entire career as a historian. As he explains in this interview, Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Paperback; Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013)... Read More
Jonathan Rauch, “Denial: My 25 Years Without a Soul” (The Atlantic Books, 2013)
Nature or nurture? Inborn or learned? Genetic or extra-genetic? Humans are so complicated that in many cases we can’t really know what is “in us” from the beginning and what is “acquired” as we learn. And even when we find something that is “in us,” we can often find a... Read More
Kathryn Livingston, “Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend” (Wiley, 2012)
It’s rare that a person’s name comes to represent an object, but such is the case with Lilly Pulitzer. Just say ‘Lilly’ and it conjures images of simple sheath dresses in vivid colors. But what of Lilly Pulitzer herself? As Kathryn Livingston’s Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Glamour, and the Birth... Read More
John E. Joseph, “Saussure” (Oxford UP, 2012)
Pretty much everyone who’s done a linguistics course has come across the name of Ferdinand de Saussure – a name that’s attached to such fundamentals as the distinction between synchrony and diachrony, and the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign. Yet when it comes to the man behind the ideas, most... Read More
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted” (Simon & Schuster, 2013)
Forty years after its debut, The Mary Tyler Moore Show remains one of the most beloved and successful television sitcoms of all time. But Jennifer Keishin Armstrong‘s Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted: And all the Brilliant Minds Who Made The Mary Tyler Moore Show a Classic (Simon and... Read More