An Interview with Alison Rose Jefferson

By Brian Tanguay When Alison Rose Jefferson was a graduate student at USC she studied under the late Kevin Starr, probably the best known historian of California. Like Starr’s, Jefferson’s…

My Brother, My Land: A Story from Palestine by Sami Hermez with Sireen Sawalha

Redwood Press Review by Brian Tanguay When Great Britain was granted responsibility for Palestine under a League of Nations mandate in 1920, it limited Jewish immigration in order to maintain…

Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era by Alison Rose Jefferson

University of Nebraska Press Review by Brian Tanguay History is a curious thing, sometimes all around us and unavoidable and at other times hidden from view, obscured by time and…

Reflections from the Shadow of Los Angeles: A Very Brief Memoir by Byron Schneider

Impervious Press Review by Brian Tanguay My only regret about Reflections from the Shadow of Los Angeles is, as the subtitle suggests, that it is very brief. I wanted to…

Brotherless Night by V. V. Ganeshananthan

Random House Review by Brian Tanguay “I recently sent a letter to a terrorist I used to know.”  When considered in the context of everything that befalls its author and…

Our Ancient Faith: Lincoln, Democracy, and the American Experiment by Allen C. Guelzo

Knopf Review by Brian Tanguay Abraham Lincoln believed that democracy was the single greatest achievement in human history. How Lincoln came to this belief is less well known than other…

Fascism in America: Past and Present, Edited by Gavriel D. Rosenfeld and Janet Ward

Cambridge University Press Review by Brian Tanguay One of the animating questions in the essays that comprise Fascism in America is whether or not our national political arrangement has reached…

A Splendid Intelligence: The Life of Elizabeth Hardwick by Cathy Curtis

Norton Review by Brian Tanguay “There is simply no accounting for her gifts. She was a unicorn, born among horses.”  So wrote author and cultural critic William Deresiewicz in “The…

California Review of Books – 10 Best Books of 2023

The following list was decided after much consultation between California Review of Books co-editors David Starkey and Brian Tanguay and the journals’ most frequent reviewers, Walter Cummins and George Yatchisin.…

From Acre to Zagjewski: 31 Outstanding Poetry Books from 2023

Reviews by David Starkey Every year since 2014, I’ve set aside a couple of months to sit down with what amounts to a long shelf of books of poetry published…