I just wanted to do mini-reviews of two books I read for school last week:
The Impending Crisis by David M Potter: This is a book about the United States from 1848-1861 looking at exactly how we came to civil war. It is VERY detailed, very involved with Congress, and concerned almost entirely with old white men (Harriet Beecher Stowe and Dred Scott are briefly mentioned). Personally I felt it was a little pro-southern (um they lost! get over it!) but it is still considered the definitive history of this period. As a standalone book, I would say 3.5 but as a useful history of the period, I would have to give it a 5.
My German Question by Peter Gay: This is a memoir of noted historian Peter Gay who lived under Hitler as a designated Jew. He wrestles with his ambivalent feelings toward Germany. It's a very angry book and could be difficult to read for some. He is also a big fan of Freud and psychoanalyzes himself, which I very much disliked. I would also give this one 3.5.