Riley

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Ivan the Terrible by Pierre Stephen Robert Payne
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I came Ivan the Terrible through my interest in Soviet-era Russian history and the obvious parallels between him and Stalin, who sought to rehabilitate his reputation in the 1940s.

This biography is really good and really surprising in its detail abo
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Even the Gods Can't Change History by George Seldes
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Before I.F. Stone, there was journalist George Seldes, an independent and liberal voice who wrote over two world wars, defending the victims of Franco in Spain and of McCarthy in America. He is probably best known as a media critic, at a time -- and ...more
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The Best of I.F. Stone by I.F. Stone
The Best of I.F. Stone
by I.F. Stone
read in December, 2016
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A collection of the works of I.F. Stone, a journalist who was influential, liberal and independent. We certainly could use more voices like his today. As much as anything else, I was struck in these pieces by how intelligent and learned Stone was, so ...more
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Sergei Eisenstein by Oksana Bulgakowa
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For fully disclosure, I don't care much for movies and have never seen a Sergei Eisenstein film. I came to this book after reading a biography of Charlie Chaplin and becoming intrigued about Eisenstein's time in the United States and Mexico.

Eisenstei
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The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission by Yasuhiro Katagiri
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A very dry but comprehensive scholarly look at the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, the state agency established during the Civil Rights era to enforce white supremacy. I came to this book after reading a couple of others about the horrors o ...more
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Mississippi by James W. Silver
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There's no high calling than to speak truth to power, and this book is a great example of that. James Silver, a historian at the University of Mississippi, wrote this account at the height of the state's fight to retain segregation, at a time when su ...more
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Alex Haley by Robert J. Norrell
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I decided to read this biography of Alex Haley after finishing The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It is a shame that Haley is a largely forgotten author today considering that he wrote two of recent 20th century's most influential books on black being. ...more
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Of Long Memory by Adam Nossiter
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I don't think Medgar Evers is a terribly well-known figure today -- I know him best from the Bob Dylan song "Only a Pawn in Their Game" -- but this book captures the racial life of the Mississippi that countenanced his assassination in 1963, as well ...more
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
by Malcolm X
read in November, 2016
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A completely classic autobiography that really should be required reading. There's a lot that could be said about the book, but I'll limit myself to one thing: I was struck by the American-ness of its tale of self-improvement, which reminded me oddly ...more
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The Thousand-Mile War by Brian Garfield
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Though I was born in Alaska, I never knew that the Japanese had occupied the western Aleutian Islands during World War II, or that there was a hot war that happened there.

This book is a military history and is really dry and hard to slog through. Bu
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