Cronkite, Walter, IV & Maurice Isserman. Cronkite’s War: His World War II Letters Home. National Geographic. May 2013. 352p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781426210198. $28.00. HIST
Before Walter Cronkite (1916–2009) became a famous CBS television newsman, he reported on World War II from London for the United Press newswire service when he was still in his twenties. Here Cronkite’s grandson (associate producer, CBS News) and Isserman (history, Hamilton Coll.) present a selection of his letters at that time to his wife, Betsy, in Kansas City, MO—they’d married in 1940—along with helpful explanations and historical context. These unpretentious letters, which barely mention any dangers the journalist faced, are mostly from England in the period 1943–45. They detail the daily routines of a journalist in wartime: arranging meetings, writing stories under deadline, dealing with military censors, struggling to travel anywhere, shortages and rationing of everything, and enjoying rarities like chocolate and razor blades. He also describes the legendary social environment of wartime London. Like any true reporter, Cronkite wanted to cover the big stories— D-day, bombing missions, ground combat— but, other than on a trip to northern Europe, he was obliged to remain in London (he’d been to North Africa before these letters start). VERDICT With its fascinating glimpses of a stirring time that was a crucible for so many journalists, this book is for all general readers interested in Cronkite, World War II war correspondents, or wartime London. —Daniel Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL
Fletcher, Anne M. Inside Rehab: The Surprising Truth about Addiction Treatment—and How To Get Help That Works. Viking. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780670025220. $27.95. PSYCH
Best-selling author Fletcher (Thin for Life; Eating Thin for Life; Sober for Good) traverses and researches the world of addiction and substance abuse rehabilitation. In this extensively researched book, Fletcher recounts her visits to numerous outpatient and residential rehab centers, interviewing dozens of current and former patients to evaluate the nature and efficacy of the facilities and treatment models. Her travels take her to rehabs of every kind: pricey resorts, insurance-subsidized in-patient facilities, and community outpatient clinics. As she compares and contrasts different treatment modalities, her conclusions are alarming. Clearly, recovery itself is a highly individual phenomenon, with varying degrees of success resulting from many types of programs, but many readers may find it disconcerting to discover that the majority of rehab facilities lack professional counselors. Moreover, Fletcher notes that rehab directors ignore scientific evidence that substantiates effective methods for promoting recovery. Helpful checklists for clients shopping for the optimal rehab option are provided. VERDICT An excellent resource for potential patients, doctors, and addiction counselors, as well as for readers interested in a meticulously researched study that exposes the rehab industry. Readers of William C. Moyers’s Now What: An Insider’s Guide to Addiction and Recovery will appreciate this book. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/12.]—Lynne Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA
Gellately, Robert. Stalin’s Curse: Battling for Communism in War and Cold War. Knopf. Mar. 2013. 464p. photogs. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9780307269157. $32.50. HIST
Stalin (literally, “man of steel”) was not a heroic superman but someone who killed or displaced millions during the 1930s through forced collectivization and the purges of perceived enemies of the people with the aim of maintaining the nascent communist state (and his own power). Gellately (history, Florida State Univ.; Backing Hitler ) uses recently uncovered documents to show just how acutely Stalin was aware of the opportunity to expand communism, and with it Soviet power, as the Red Army overran eastern Europe on the way to Nazi Germany. The weakened countries through those troops marched were occupied and eventually forged into the Eastern Bloc. Gellately is masterful at utilizing Soviet and Western sources to clarify the long-term consequences of Stalin’s push to power. Alongside recent works such as V.M. Zubok’s A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev and Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944–1956 , which detail the human cost and larger Soviet political strategy, this book should become a go-to read on how the Cold War developed. VERDICT Recommended for academic and lay historians and those interested in the global history of power politics. —Jacob Sherman, Texas A&M Univ. Lib., San Antonio
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The following titles are reviewed in the March 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Fort, Adrian. Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor. St. Martin’s. 2013. 384p. photogs. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780312599034. $25.99. BIOG
Baker, Ralph W., Jr. Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids from Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead. Ralph W. Baker Jr. 2012. 346p. bibliog. notes. ISBN 9780988488908. pap. $20; ebk. ISBN 9780615678788. ECON
Geist, Charles R. Beggar Thy Neighbor: A History of Usury and Debt. Univ. of Pennsylvania. Mar. 2013. 400p. bibliog. notes. ISBN 9780812244625. $39.95; ebk. ISBN 9780812207507. ECON
Miner, Barbara J. Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an Iconic American City. The New Pr. 2013. 320p. notes. ISBN 9781595588296. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595588647. ED
Allman, T. D. Finding Florida: The True History of the Sunshine State. Atlantic Monthly. Mar. 2013. 528p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780802120762. $27.50. HIST
Daughtrey, Peter. Atlantis and the Silver City. Pegasus. Mar. 2013. 262p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781605984155. $27.95. ARCHAEOL.
Gibney, John. The Shadow of a Year: The 1641 Rebellion in Irish History and Memory. Univ. of Wisconsin. 2013. 230p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780299289546. pap. $29.95; ISBN 9780299289539. $21.95. HIST
Kirkland, Stephane. Paris Reborn: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest To Build a Modern City. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 336p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780312626891. $29.99. HIST
May, Gary. Bending Towards Justice: The Voting Right Acts and the Transformation of American Democracy. Basic Bks: Perseus. Apr. 2013. 336p. photogs. notes. index. ISBN 9780465018468. $28.99. HIST
Douglas, John & Mark Olshaker. Law & Disorder: The Legendary FBI Profiler’s Relentless Pursuit of Justice. Kensington. Mar. 2013. 389p. index. ISBN 9780758273123. $25. CRIME .
Sheffer, Susannah. Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys. Vanderbilt Univ. Mar. 2013.218p. index. ISBN 9780826519108. $59.95; pap. ISBN 9780826519115.; ebk. ISBN 9780826519122. LAW.
Miller, Melinda Joy. Shamanic Gardening: Timeless Techniques for the Modern Sustainable Garden. Process. 2013. 322p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781934170366. pap. $19.95. PARAPSYCH
Ghattas, Kim. The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. Times Bks: Holt. Mar. 2013. 368p. photogs. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780805095111. $26. International Affairs
Shaaban, Bouthaina. Damascus Diary: An Inside Account of Hafez Al-Assad’s Peace Diplomacy, 1990-2000. Lynne Rienner. 2013. 210p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781588268631. $55. International Affairs
Klingberg, Torkel. The Learning Brain: Memory and Brain Development in Children. Oxford Univ. 2012. 192p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780199917105. $24.95. PSYCH
Weber, Jill P. Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy: Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships. Rowman & Littlefield. Mar. 2013. 200p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442220201. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781442220218. PSYCH
Adams, Vincanne. Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina. Duke Univ. Mar. 2013. 232p. photogs. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780822354499. pap. $22.95. SOC SCI
Hager, Christopher. Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing. Harvard Univ. 2013. 318p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780674059863. $39.95. SOC SCI
TRAVEL & GEOGRAPHY
Knipple, Paul & Angela Knipple. Farm Fresh Tennessee: The Go-To Guide to Great Farmers’ Markets, Farm Stands, Farms, U-Picks, Kids’ Activities, Loding, Dining, Wineries, Breweries, Distilleries, Festivals, and More. Univ. of North Carolina. Mar. 2013. 288p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781469607740. pap. $20. TRAVEL