| Jul 4, 2008
When you've spent as many hours unpacking the text of the nation's founding documents as we have, you start to notice how many concerns that were pressing when the United States was founded remain unresolved today. This is obvious with the U.S....
| Oct 10, 2010
Penguin Press: 906 pp., $40
On Dec. 14, 1799, an ominous, fog-like gloom hung over Mount Vernon. Sixty-seven-year-old George Washington was dying. The ex-president, his doctors believed, was suffering from "quinsy" (a...
| Aug 30, 2009
A Mother-Daughter Story
Sue Monk Kidd and
Ann Kidd Taylor
Viking: 282 pp., $25.95
In 1998, Sue Monk Kidd was 49. Her daughter Ann was 22 and had lived away from home for four years. Her mother missed her "almost...
| Jan 4, 2010
Paul M. Zall, a research scholar at the Huntington Library in San Marino and a professor at Cal State L.A. who examined the lives and humor of early American presidents and leaders, often using their own words, has died. He was 87.
Zall died Dec. 16 of...
| Jan 24, 2010
The Power of Half
One Family's Decision to Stop
Taking and Start Giving Back
Kevin and Hannah Salwen
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 242 pp., $24
Give it up for the Salwen family. Inspired by 14-year-old Hannah, who had "become increasingly upset about...
| Jan 24, 2010
The Templars were an elite taskforce -- consider them the Green Berets of the Middle Ages. They were known for their service to the pope, their fierce determination to wrest Jerusalem from the enemy, their great wealth and, like many groups, their...
| Dec 5, 2010
The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society
Edited by Bill Bryson
William Morrow: 506 pp., $35
There are about 1,400 people currently entitled to tack on "F.R.S." to the end of their names, possibly the world'...
| May 8, 2011
The Forgotten Founding Father
Noah Webster's Obsession and the Creation of an American Culture
Putnam: 355 pp., $26.95
Reading Joshua Kendall's smart new biography of the pioneering lexicographer Noah Webster Jr. (1758-1843) brings to...
| Feb 20, 2011
South of Los Angeles and north of San Diego lies an intermittently magical 789-square-mile realm where freeways hum and Disneyland flourishes, where immigrants remake old communities as new ones ripple across the hills. Many outsiders treat this place...
| Jul 10, 2011
Paul Revere was captured on April 18, 1775, before he could warn the residents of Concord, Mass., that the British were coming. (He did make it to Lexington, Mass.)
No Revolutionary War battle was ever fought at Valley Forge, Pa., even though Gen. George...
| Oct 28, 2011
| 5:39 PM
He was an abandoned child who grew up with the unshakable belief that he was destined to be a prince. How arrogant and sensible of him.
His personal hygiene was bad. He often wore no shoes and liked to stick his feet in the toilet. His food faddery was...