Book Reviews · History · Non Fiction

The Great Crash of 1929

The Great Crash of 1929The Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The Great Crash of 1929” has been seating on my “to be read” shelf for ages, and I finally gave it a chance. In the past couple of years, I came across many books/articles/stories/movies that at some degree evolved around the big financial crash of 1929, therefore I wanted to dig a bit dipper to fully understand the history of the big misfortune and learn the reasons that lead to the atrocious tragedy and effected many lives and lasted for almost a decade.

I was expecting the book to be written in chronological order, instead, it jumped back and forth between years/decades and overwhelmed me with all the details and facts about the stock exchange that I was not familiar with. Nevertheless, the novel has provided a lot of info that summarized the history of the big stock market crash and provided detailed explanations to the reasons that lead to it:

1. The bad distribution of income
2. The bad corporate structure
3. The bad banking structure
4. The dubious state of the foreign balance
5. The poor state of economic intelligence

This is an old edition of the book, that has been written and publishes decades ago, regardless, it contains the historical events and facts about the largest stock market crash.

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Biography / Memoir · Book Reviews · History · Non Fiction

Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership

Barack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary PartnershipBarack and Joe: The Making of an Extraordinary Partnership by Steven Levingston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The political bromance, Barack and Joe’s friendship, and collaboration will forever leave its footprint in American history.

Starting from political rivals, the two managed to build a strong foundation of the phenomenal President & Vice President team. This book tells the story of two democratic US senators who came from two completely opposite backgrounds but shared an important mission. This is not a biography of either man, this is a story of their bond, the way they were able to look past their differences, listened and accepted each other’s objectives, and most importantly – held one another’s back. An author made an excellent note regarding the two: the Barack-and-Joe friendship did something else: it stirred the imagination. It gave Americans hope that the nation could work together harmoniously. Barack and Joe looked beyond color and age and personal quirks to the importance of shared values.

This book is an easy read. I didn’t find any new information in it, however, it is a perfect guide for any political enthusiast that contains all the facts of Barack and Joe’s friendship and partnership during their time in The Office.

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Book Reviews · Historical Fiction · History · Suspence

The Third Daughter

The Third DaughterThe Third Daughter by Talia Carner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The Third Daughter” is a powerful story of courage, hope, and determination.

Pogroms have progressed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Russian, and many Jewish families found themselves fleeing their homes. Batya’s family was one of them. On their way to the Jewish colony, they run into a wealthy jew, whom after only a few days offered to take young Batya to Buenos Aires and make her his wife.

As you already guessed, Batya’s happiness was short-lived. Soon after being taken away from her family and on the way to Buenos Aires, the young girl has been raped, beaten, and starved. Upon reaching her destination, Batya’s spirit has been broken. And instead of promised life of freedom and luxury, she ended up in an upscale brothel and in a heart of Jewish mafia. Despite her unbearable situation, Batya never gave up hope of helping her family escape the horrors of Russia, and due to her patience and strong will power, the faith brought her new hope in the face of a fellow Jew.

The novel covers multiples subjects as corruption, kidnapping, sex trafficking, and suicide. It was hard to read at times, however, it was wonderfully edited and fitted into the story. In my opinion, the novel was too long and I wish there were more details shared about Batya’s family and their lives in Russian, also more details envolving Moscowitz and Co. Thank you GoodReads and William Morrow publishers for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Biography / Memoir · Book Reviews · History · Non Fiction

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire -- A BiographyCondé Nast: The Man and His Empire — A Biography by Susan Ronald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Susan Ronals did an incredible job of composing a phenomenal book about the life of the publishing magnate Conde Nast, the founder of Vogue, Glamour, Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and many more world’s best-known magazines.

The book begins with a story of Nast family, their origin and background. Very early in the book, we find out that Conde has come from a broken family, however, it never reflected on his character. Opposit to his father, he remained close with his family, children, and ex-wives.

From the first pages of the book, Conde’s character showed affection to the circle of his friends and partners, dedication, fearfulness, honorable and strong will. He never has forgotten where he came from, and people who helped him succeed. Although, he was equitable with his frenemies and competitors.

It was very interesting to read about the way Conde has built and extended his publishing empire. He is a great example of a man who has been knocked down in personal and business lives, however no matter how hard the hit was – Conde always found ways to get back up. I’m fascinated by his life and accomplishments.

Thank you Susan Ronals for a remarkable story and introduction to the life of world’s famous publishing mogul. And big thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press publishing for a free and advanced copy of the book.

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Book Reviews · History · Non Fiction

The Russia Trap

The Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral Into Nuclear CatastropheThe Russia Trap: How Our Shadow War with Russia Could Spiral Into Nuclear Catastrophe by George Beebe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The Russia Trap” is a great book that combines a political and economic history of Russia. This book is direct, short and up to the point guide for anyone who is not familiar with the history of Russia after the Cold War. Not only the author introduces the reader to the history of one of the largest countries in the world, but he also explains the relationship between US and Russia, or in other words – “the war behind the scene”.

This book would be a perfect present for any political or eastern European enthusiast. Thank you, NetGalley and Thomas Dunne Books publisher for a free and advanced copy of the book.

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Biography / Memoir · Book Reviews · History · Non Fiction · Romance

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda FitzgeraldDear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda: The Love Letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald” book combine survived Fitzgeralds’ letters that Scott and Zelda have exchanged from the time they have met and thru Scott’s death.

For me, as a newbie to Scott and Zelda’s love story, this book was a phenomenal information source that explained very thoroughly Fitzgeralds’ relationship and reasons that drove Scott to alcoholism and Zelda to insanity.

One thing that fascinated me the most was their dedication to each other. Even in the period of Zelda’s first breakdown, Fitzgeralds were able to sustain their alliance despite the fact they have blamed each other for their failures. It was an interesting fact to see that while apart – Fitzgeralds’ lead calmer lives, but once together – their worlds would collapse with rapid speed.

While reading Fitzgeralds’ letters – I often caught myself thinking: how different their lives would become if they would never be married, or separated once their marriage problems have begun. Would Zelda lose her sanity? Would Scott’s alcoholism be prevented?

In the end, I find Fitzgeralds’ story love story passionate and romantic. Two highly intelligent people hopelessly in love, whose remarkable personalities clash once together, but remained devoted to each other thru their best times and worst. Their story is inspirational but tragique at the same time.

Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced free copy of the book.

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All About Paris · Book Reviews · Historical Fiction · History · Mystery · Romance · Suspence

Mistress of the Ritz

Mistress of the RitzMistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I really liked the entire book a lot, the beginning and the ending were outstanding.

The novel introduces us to Blanche and Claude Auzello, the Monsieur and Mistress of the Ritz. After returning from the line of war, the couple rushes to their beloved Ritz, just to find it occupied by Nazi. And like any other Parisian, the Auzellos do their best to follow the rules to avoid the opposite side of a German raffle. As the story unfolds, it seems that the Auzellos follow an old saying “keep your friends close, and your enemy closer”. But how long can they play this game? Joining the French resistance is not the only secret they must protect in order to survive, and stay alive.

I love books that pluck a piece of history and built an elaborate story around it. “Mistress of the Ritz” is a wonderful example of this. It is a fast-moving story filled with heroism, secrets, and a strong wish for survival. The author did a great job in the development of the characters. If you enjoy historical fiction, you do not want to miss this!

Thank you, Net Galley and Delacorte Press Publisher for a free ARC of this book.

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