Book Reviews by John Gizzi

High-Stakes Political Drama, British Style

Novels based on U.S. politics have, in the last half-century or so, resonated with American readers. Advise and Consent, Allen Drury’s Pulitzer Prize-winning magnum opus about a Senate confirmation battle over a controversial nominee for Secretary of State, holds up … Continue reading

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A Life That Spanned French History And Made It

More than three decades after he became the first-ever Socialist president under France’s Fifth Republic and nearly two decades after his death, Francois Mitterrand still fascinates—indeed, captivates—the French as well as politicians and political pundits worldwide.

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How John Foster and Allen Dulles Waged the Cold War

With the possible exception of John and Robert Kennedy, no two American brothers had greater roles in making their mark on the world that John Foster and Allen Dulles –respectively, U.S. secretary of state and director of the post-World War II Central Intelligence Agency throughout most of the 1950s.

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Frightening Portrayal of Post-War “Might Have Been”

Alternate history—an intellectual “parlor game” played by novelists, historians, and political scientists—envisions the world as it might have been had certain developments in history turned out differently. The late science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick in The Man in the High Castle and British novelist Robert Harris’s best-selling Fatherland both portray a world in the 1960’s two decades after Germany won World War II. Harry Turtledove has made a cottage industry out of alternate history by developing several “what might have been” scenarios into a string of books (including a thirteen-volume series on the uneasy relationship between the U.S. and the Confederate States of America for eighty years after the Civil War ended in a standoff).

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