Our 5 Most Popular Posts: February 2023

  • March 2, 2023

We love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are February’s winners.

Our 5 Most Popular Posts: February 2023

  1. Kitty Kelley’s review of Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo (Simon & Schuster). “The Crafts’ story is no ordinary slave narrative, although ‘ordinary’ hardly describes the harrowing attempts that desperate human beings made in 18th- and 19th-century America to flee slavery’s choke-hold. Hordes of bounty hunters laid in wait to capture fugitives and drag them back to their owners in chains. Few made it to freedom, which is why the Crafts are so extraordinary: They took white supremacy and turned it upside down and sideways in order to escape in plain sight, executing one of the boldest feats of self-emancipation in U.S. history.”

  2. Paul D. Pearlstein’s review of Coming to Terms with John F. Kennedy by Stephen F. Knott (University Press of Kansas). “Knott’s writing is excellent throughout the book, and he makes reading about pivotal, decades-old events exciting all over again. The only problem? Those other 40,000 titles competing for space on the JFK shelves. Ideally, Coming to Terms with John F. Kennedy will be able to claim its rightful place in the Kennedy canon as public memory dims and the family’s chokehold on the late president’s image loosens.”

  3. Bob Duffy’s review of The Tudors in Love: Passion and Politics in the Age of England’s Most Famous Dynasty by Sarah Gristwood (St. Martin’s Press). “What results is compelling history and brilliant analysis centering on the stagey, ritualized interactions between men and women at court. Gristwood has an ear for both the high-toned and the mundane (international diplomacy vs. interpersonal romantic posturing). Tellingly, she probes the message behind the Tudors’ theatrical pageantry and tiltyard competitions, most notably in Henry’s reign.”

  4. Jennifer Bort Yacovissi’s review of The House of Eve: A Novel by Sadeqa Johnson (Simon & Schuster). “There’s a moment near the end of Sadeqa Johnson’s latest novel, The House of Eve, that makes direct reference to characters in her previous novel, Yellow Wife, thus linking the two stories. For her fans, there’s the delicious frisson that comes from understanding the reference. At the same time, the connection highlights how the 100-plus years separating the two tales is not nearly long enough to repair the generational trauma of chattel slavery.”

  5. Michael Causey’s review of The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969-73 by Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair (Dey Street Books). “Poring over these pages made me feel like I was sitting in the studio with Paul, wife Linda, and musicians like Denny Laine as the musical alchemy was brewing. Even the most devout Beatles scholars will learn a lot from this excellent work. Among many revelations for this gifted amateur McCartney historian, I learned Paul nearly called his first solo album ‘I’m the One it Hit the Most,’ reflecting how he was the most enthusiastic bandmember up to the very end and fought the break-up, and how many seemingly cohesive, classic songs, such as ‘Another Day,’ began as disparate fragments fused by McCartney’s artistry.”

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