A fresh angle offering yet another reason to regard Lincoln as our presidential G.O.A.T.



A provocative study of Abraham Lincoln as a masterly media manipulator.

Infusing his typically clear and well-reasoned discourse with modern-sounding language, Marcus presents Lincoln as an early adopter of new technology, being one of the first public figures to understand the power of photography and who “loved the camera” enough to leave over 100 surviving portraits. Based on a broad array of period illustrations, looking at six iconic photos taken in Matthew Brady’s Washington, D.C., studio on Feb. 9, 1864 (and, in greater focus, at one in particular), he offers a visually based overview of the 16th president’s political career—from the earliest likeness in 1846 and an 1860 Brady shot that boosted his first national campaign by going “viral” both as a carte de visite and “morphed” into a line engraving for Harper’s Weekly—on to post-assassination memorial images. (The author makes no mention of various and possibly spurious deathbed photos.) Aside from confusingly characterizing the Emancipation Proclamation as “a watershed moment in human history” a few pages after dubbing it just “a symbolic statement” like the finishing of the Capitol’s dome, Marcus offers readers deeply enlightening views of presidential achievements and daily routines, of the era’s unfinished and chaotic Washington, D.C., and of Brady and other artists who depicted the president in various media. Everyone in the pictures is White except in occasional racially mixed engravings of crowd scenes.

A fresh angle offering yet another reason to regard Lincoln as our presidential G.O.A.T. (timelines, bibliography, notes, photo credits, index) (Biography. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 9780374303488

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history.



Well-documented proof that, when it came to early automobiles, it wasn’t just men who took the wheel.

Despite relentlessly flashy page design that is more distracting than otherwise and a faint typeface sure to induce eyestrain, this companion to Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (2011) chronicles decided shifts in gender attitudes and expectations as it puts women (American women, mostly) behind the wheel in the first decades of the 20th century. Sidebar profiles and features, photos, advertisements, and clippings from contemporary magazines and newspapers festoon a revved-up narrative that is often set in angular blocks for added drama. Along with paying particular attention to women who went on the road to campaign for the vote and drove ambulances and other motor vehicles during World War I, Macy recounts notable speed and endurance races, and she introduces skilled drivers/mechanics such as Alice Ramsey and Joan Newton Cuneo. She also diversifies the predominantly white cast with nods to Madam C.J. Walker, her daughter, A’Lelia (both avid motorists), and the wartime Colored Women’s Motor Corps. An intro by Danica Patrick, checklists of “motoring milestones,” and an extended account of an 1895 race run and won by men do more for the page count than the overall story—but it’s nonetheless a story worth the telling.

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history. (index, statistics, source notes, annotated reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2697-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Pure gold for readers in search of role models who buck conventional masculine expectations.



Single-page profiles of men who were guided by their better angels.

“History books are full of men who have made their mark,” Peters writes. “But these great men were not always good men.” So this atypical gallery focuses on men who served communities, demonstrated real respect for others, or otherwise acted on worthy principles. With one exception, men presented were born in or at least lived into the 20th century. That exception, John Stuart Mill, leads off for his then-radical notions about human (including women’s) rights and the “tyranny of the majority.” The ensuing multiracial, multinational roster mixes the predictable likes of Cesar Chavez, Thích Nhất Hạnh, and Roberto Clemente with Chinese diplomat Feng-Shan Ho (who helped “hundreds, and possibly thousands” of Jews escape Nazi-occupied Vienna), Indian child-labor activist Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai’s dad and champion, Ziauddin, transgender activist Kylar W. Broadus, and socially conscious creative artists including Lin-Manuel Miranda and Kendrick Lamar. Though intent on highlighting good works, the author doesn’t shy away from personal details—she identifies six entrants as gay and one, Freddie Mercury, as bisexual—or darker ones, such as Harvey Milk’s assassination and Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. Washington works with a severely limited menu of facial expressions, but each subject in his full-page accompanying portraits radiates confidence and dignity.

Pure gold for readers in search of role models who buck conventional masculine expectations. (source notes) (Collective biography. 11-14)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-52941-9

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet