Category: American History

  • An Ivy League school confronts its history with slavery

    Paul O’Connor, longtime newspaper journalist, reviews a history of Yale University’s relationship with the institution of slavery, the result of an academic investigation. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor YALE AND SLAVERY: A History. By David Blight and the Yale and Slavery Research Project. Yale Press. 448 pages. $35, hardcover. Audiobook also from Yale Press, read…

  • Looking for Mayberry? Try Roanoke Island

    I’m catching up on a few books that slipped through the cracks last year when the newspaper I’d been writing freelance reviews for no longer was able to pay for such things. It’s sad what’s happening to regional newspapers as they are bought by distant enterprises that strip them of staff and resources; it’s a…

  • Gripping tale of history resonates today

    Paul O’Connor is a longtime journalist who grew up in New England and has spent decades living in North Carolina, observing and writing about government, politics, political machinations and a range of other topics. This time, he’s considering some history that sounds eerily familiar. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor   LINCOLN ON THE VERGE: THIRTEEN…

  • A different perspective

    Paul O’Connor, a veteran journalist, offers a review of a book that he says isn’t easy to read – but worth the effort. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor CASTE: THE ORIGIN OF OUR DISCONTENTS. By Isabel Wilkerson. Random House. 388 pages. $32, hardcover. Many weekday mornings, a friend calls to discuss the news and express…

  • A memoir, and much more

    Bob Moyer loves New Orleans and visits often. Here he reviews a book about a side of New Orleans most tourists don’t visit, a book about “people that people don’t write books about.” Reviewed by Robert P. Moyer THE YELLOW HOUSE. By Sarah M. Broom. Grove Press. 304 pages. $26. New Orleans has certain phrases…

  • The ties that divide

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson SPYING ON THE SOUTH: An Odyssey Across the American Divide. By Tony Horwitz. Penguin Audio. 17 hours; 14 CDs. Read by Mark Deakins. $45. Also available in print from Penguin Press. The news of Tony Horwitz’ untimely death from cardiac arrest came as I was in the midst of listening…

  • Depressing, yet compelling

    Paul O’Connor reviews a book he meant to read long ago, one that still offers important lessons. Like Paul, I find that I will listen to the audio version of difficult books I cannot make myself read in print. Reviewed by Paul T. O’Connor A BRIGHT SHINING LIE: JOHN PAUL VANN AND AMERICA IN VIETNAM.…

  • Through a screen, darkly

    From time to time, my younger son, a Navy officer, contributes a review. This one is particularly timely, not to mention thought-provoking. Reviewed by Lt. Samuel Brinson LIKEWAR: The Weaponization of Social Media. By P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 416 pages. $28 Over the last few years, the internet and…

  • America: Our founders, ourselves

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson AMERICAN DIALOGUE: The Founders and Us. By Joseph J. Ellis. Random House Audio. Read by Arthur Morey. 8 ½ hours; 7 CDs. $40. Also available in print from Knopf. 283 pages. $27.95. I started listening to this book before the recent mid-term election, hoping for some antidote to my growing…

  • Challenging the powerful, a reporter’s story

    Reviewed by Linda C. Brinson REPORTER. By Seymour M. Hersh. Random House Audio. 14 hours; 11 CDs. Read by Arthur Morey. $40. Also available in print from Knopf, 355 pages, $27.95. “I am a survivor from the golden age of journalism…” begins Seymour M. Hersh in his remarkable memoir, the aptly named Reporter. On a…