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A horse-racing mystery that does the family proud

This book explodes in its opening chapter with a gruesome murder at a race track, concludes with an express train demolishing a victim at 100 miles an hour and vibrates on intervening pages with the thunder of horses’ hooves.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father’

In the fall of 1764, George Whitefield, itinerant evangelical preacher, gave a commencement sermon at Princeton University, then a place of evangelical learning which he described as a “blessed nursery, one of the purest in the universe.” Many readers will gawk and chuckle at the idea of an evangelical pastor giving a commencement address at one of today’s elite colleges. So far from being flower beds of spiritual growth, the Ivies are today distinguished by secularism and outright contempt for orthodox, confessional Christianity. Were Whitefield to preach on an elite campus today, he would be regarded as a retrograde bigot.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Stop the Coming Civil War’

Michael Savage is not the only writer to conclude this nation is more divided now that at any time since the Civil War. However, the author and radio talk-show host has explored in-depth America’s step-by-step removal from the ideal of “one nation, indivisible.”

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Resilience Dividend’

Resilience, as defined by Judith Rodin is the capacity of any entity, ranging from an individual, a corporation or a society, to pre-emptively prepare for sudden disruptions that were unpredicted, to recover from them and then to take advantage of new opportunities produced by the disruption for further growth and expansion.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Rebel Yell’

For two years, 1861 to 1863, Gen. Thomas Jonathan (“Stonewall”) Jackson, West Point graduate, hero of the Mexican war, and in the interim a quirky eccentric former Virginia Military Institute professor plagued by a host of 19th-century afflictions, became not just a hero of the Confederacy, but a brilliant military tactician who out-thought, out-anticipated, outmaneuvered and outfought the enemy.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Penelope Fitzgerald’

The novelist Penelope Fitzgerald is not every reader’s cup of tea. She firmly believed that “less is more,” so her novels are brief. They are also cryptic and elliptical; packed with brilliant scenes, funny at times, but dark, too, and a little unsettling.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Augustus: First Emperor of Rome’

Caesar Augustus remains the person in the ancient world whose image is the most recognizable, surviving to the present day in statues, coins and frescoes. He was the Barack Obama of his day, except that he actually created significant and lasting accomplishments.

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Everything right but the bottom line

Reviewing one of Andrew Roberts' earlier books, an English critic wrote that "as well as being intelligent, hard-working and opinionated, he gets great fun out of his writing.

BOOK REVIEW: 'U.S. Marshals'

On Sept. 24, the U.S. Marshals Service celebrated its 225th anniversary, making them the country's oldest law enforcement agency — and, according to Mike Earp, being a deputy U.S. marshal is one of the most dangerous jobs in law enforcement.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Reckoning'

Perhaps the darkest memories of war are of the courts-martial that lie in its bloody shadows, especially when they are cast in the stone of injustice.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Stonewalled'

Full disclosure first: I was one of those military analysts regularly seen on network television until a 2008 New York Times expose accused us of succumbing to improper influences by the Rumsfeld Pentagon.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Seven Deadly Virtues'

The financial success of Bill Bennett's "The Book of Virtues" (1993) proved that longing for the good life was far from dead. I was one of 2.2 million hungry souls that opened their wallets and minds.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Embattled Rebel'

James McPherson of Princeton University may be America's most distinguished Civil War historian. His "Battle Cry of Freedom," published in 1988, not only won its author a Pulitzer Prize but remains the best single-volume history of the war.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Lucky Us'

Amy Bloom has the gift of making her readers chuckle and even laugh while, simultaneously, causing the heart to ache. She did it in "Away" and does it again in her new novel, "Lucky Us."

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Devil's Alliance'

From a 21st-century perspective, the alliance that Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin concluded in August 1939 ushering in World War II makes perfect sense: two totalitarian monsters who had so much in common paving the way for Nazi Germany to fight democratic Britain and France.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Sundays at Eight'

There are a number of reasons I enthusiastically urge you to buy and read this anniversary selection of 41 interviews that C-SPAN, the public-affairs cable channel, has aired during its 25 years in operation. Most important, each is fascinating reading.

BOOK REVIEW: 'National Insecurity'

Written as a 2016 campaign primer, "National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear," shows why David Rothkopf is the institutional memory of the national security establishment.