September 15, 2016 Booklist 13 www.booklistonline.com
of the bond between Eleanor and reporter
extraordinaire turned White House staffer
and frequent resident Lorena “Hick” Hickok,
drawing on some 3,300 letters. Conducted
with daring subterfuge and painful restraint,
their affair gave Eleanor strength and confidence as she reluctantly became First Lady,
then transformed herself into a tireless,
far-roaming, and courageous advocate for
human rights, while Hick sacrificed her hard-won newspaper career; became a crucial,
in-the-field voice shaping the New Deal; and
endured much anguish. Quinn tells Eleanor’s
always astonishing story from a freshly illuminating perspective and brings forward to
resounding effect intrepid, eloquent, compassionate, and tough Hick. With episodes
hilarious, stunning, and heartbreaking,
Quinn’s compellingly intimate chronicle tells
the long-camouflaged story of a morally and
intellectually spirited, taboo-transcending,
and world-bettering love. —Donna Seaman
The General vs. the President:
MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of
By H. W. Brands.
Oct. 2016. 448p. illus. Doubleday, $30 (9780385540575);
e-book, $14.99 (9780385540582). 973.918092.
In examining the conflict between Truman
and MacArthur, history professor Brands is
moving over well-traveled ground. Still, he
provides a fresh look at this dispute while
placing it within the context of an America
in which postwar optimism had given way to
growing insecurity. The economy was sluggish; the Soviets had the A-bomb, and the
Chinese had entered the Korean War with
a half-million troops. Truman had ruled out
the nuclear option. MacArthur carried out a
public campaign in which that option was a
possibility, and he sought a wider war in direct defiance of his commander in chief. This
was a clash of two willful, proud men, and
Brands effectively portrays their characters.
MacArthur was a brilliant strategist, personally brave, egotistical, and often disdainful of
civilian authority. Truman was stubborn and
short-tempered and a voracious reader with
a deep understanding of American democracy. Brands doesn’t break any new ground,
but he does offer a timely reminder of the
need to be wary of the “man on a white
horse” who will “rescue us” from our dilemmas. —Jay Freeman
God’s Armies: Crusade and Jihad;
Origins, History, Aftermath.
By Malcolm Lambert.
Oct. 2016. 352p. illus. Pegasus, $27.95
Fifteen years after then-President George
W. Bush announced that the U.S. was
launching a crusade against terrorism, Lambert illuminates that unfortunate analogy.
Readers travel back to 1095, when the realpolitik Pope Urban II called upon Christian
Europe to take up the cross and the sword
to reclaim the Holy Land from the pagans.
Readers experience the epic journeys and the
heroic battles, but they also probe the leading personalities and investigate their pivotal
private acts. Readers witness the fierce assault on Jerusalem in 1099—complete with
battering rams and hymn-singing priests—and they
draw close to the cavalry
charges beneath showers
of arrows during the Battle
of Hattin in 1187, a battle
clearing the way for the
great Muslim warrior Saladin to reclaim Jerusalem.
But they also peer into the perilously insecure
psyche of the crusader Guy of Lusignan and
ponder Saladin’s spiritual transformation af-
ter a near-death experience. Recognizing that
the Christian crusades unfolded in a world
shaped by Islamic jihads, Lambert scrutinizes
both militant forms of religion simultaneous-
ly, highlighting the fissures setting Christian
crusaders against Eastern Christians and
Shiite Muslims against Sunni Muslims. In
a world where memories of crusader atroci-
ties sustain virulent new forms of jihad, such
balanced scholarship offers hope of interfaith
understanding. —Bryce Christensen
By Glen Jeansonne.
Oct. 2016. 464p. illus. NAL, $28 (9781101991008). 973.91.
Hoover bears the dismal historical reputation
as the American president who did very little to
arrest the economic collapse after the 1929 Wall
Street crash; instead, as the thread of criticism
generally runs, he assumed the 1920s Republican position of “hands-off” to let the economy
Encyclopedia of KISS: Music,
Personnel, Events and Related
By Brett Weiss.
2016. 236p. illus. McFarland, paper, $39.95
(9780786498024); e-book (9781476625409). 782.42.
Growing up in the 1970s, Weiss was
obsessed with the rock group KISS. Here
he turns his lifelong fandom into a compendium of trivia and tidbits about the
self-proclaimed hottest band in the world.
Entries cover people (such as superfan
and founding member of Anthrax, Dime-bag Darrell, as well as President Obama),
places (including rock clubs like The Daisy)
and, naturally, all of the band members and
recordings. Small black-and-white photographs appear throughout, and there is a
brief bibliography as well as an index. Other
authorized and unauthorized biographies
of the band exist—and this compendium
is obviously more a labor of love than a
reference work—but the easy encyclopedic
nature of this book will satisfy casual and
hard-core fans. —Rebecca Vnuk
Field Guide to Trains, Locomotives,
and Rolling Stock: Your Complete
Guide to Everything on the Rails
By Brian Solomon.
2016. 208p. illus. Voyageur, paper, $24.99
Trains move all across North America on
ISIS: An Introduction and Guide to the
a daily basis, but most people do not know
much about them. This book tries to solve
that problem by identifying and classifying
all types of trains running today. Aimed at
the railroad novice, it offers information
on locomotives, freight cars, passenger
cars, commuter equipment, and even
light-rail and subway cars. For each type, it
includes a brief history, primary use today,
and several high-quality color photos. One-
fourth of the book is devoted to historic
trains that are still running in museum or
excursion service. This book will be a use-
ful guide for anyone interested in learning
more about railroading today. And like any
good field guide, it will be a useful tool for
answering the age-old question “What the
heck was that?” whenever a train passes
by. —David Tyckoson
By Brian L. Steed.
2016. 197p. ABC-CLIO, $58 (9781440849862);
e-book (9781440849879). 363.325.
Many people puzzle over why educated
people join an extreme organization like
ISIS. The world is not black and white, and
balanced responses to such questioning
require a deeper understanding of the
factors that drive ISIS and its activities.
Essays in the first half of this book explore
the origins and development of the organization, its ideological underpinnings,
what entices and how it attracts recruits,
and other such questions. The second part
consists of encyclopedia-style entries.
Each entry focuses on what is important,
and why it matters to ISIS. These entries
are not cross-referenced, and a selected
bibliography at the end of each essay
would be useful. However, this work
provides a nuanced view on a complex
subject, showing empathy for the organization, its objectives, and its members.
REFERENCE BOOKS IN BRIEF