BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Far less edifying than the Constitutional Convention but equally crucial, the colorful machinations of our first Congress receive a delightful account that will keep even educated readers turning the pages."
While the Constitution outlined the theory of our nation, the obstreperous first Congress converted it to reality. It was not a pretty picture, and popular historian Bordewich (America's Great Debate: Henry Clay, Stephen A. Douglas, and the Compromise that Preserved the Union, 2012, etc.) delivers an entertaining description of how "it transmuted the Constitution from a paper charter and a set of hopeful aspirations into the machinery of a functioning government."Read full book review >
BREAKTHROUGH by Nancy L. Cohen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"In her brisk analysis, Cohen feels optimistic that the next election will cross 'a historic threshold.'"
Is America ready to elect Hillary Clinton? Read full book review >

THE POWER AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE by Peter Conti-Brown
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Generalists will appreciate Conti-Brown's gentle hand-holding, and specialists will argue over his analytical slant that dispenses with a narrow and legalistic view of what the Fed's all about."
An examination of the origins, evolution, structures, and functions of the American government's most opaque institution. Read full book review >
THE GHOST WARRIORS by Samuel M. Katz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A detailed book that is refreshingly full of sound research rather than polemic."
An action-packed, nondidactic examination of how Israel's special operation units rose to the challenge of the Palestinian intifada. Read full book review >
WEST OF EDEN by Jean Stein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Slips occasionally into hearsay and grievance but rivets readers with 'a kind of fascinated horror.'"
Through interviews with remnants of a long-gone Hollywood, a vivid sense of some of the great formative families emerges. Read full book review >

THE SLAVE'S CAUSE by Manisha Sinha
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Wide-ranging and admirably ambitious, to be read alongside Hugh Thomas' The Slave Trade (1997) and Eric Foner's The Fiery Trial (2010), among other recent books in the field."
Comprehensive survey of the abolitionist movement in Colonial and independent America. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Fascinating to dip into casually and essential to students of the Kennedy administration, the Cold War, and late-20th-century world history."
Three months, 1,700 pages. But what months they were: a season in the midterm administration of John F. Kennedy marked by faltering polls, the aftermath of near nuclear war, and one crisis after another. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 4, 2016

"A well-researched, well-documented, and highly readable account."
A history of the Hamitic hypothesis, from its origins in the story of Noah's disgraced son Ham in the book of Genesis to its presence in the Rwandan genocide of recent decades. Read full book review >
SHRINKING THE EARTH by Donald Worster
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2016

"A bracing, intelligent survey of wealth become immiseration, essential for students of environmental history."
Eminent historian Worster (Emeritus, American History/Univ. of Kansas; A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, 2008, etc.) offers a concise, often elegiac account of the end of the American centuries.Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO INVENTED FICTION by William Egginton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Despite a lack of evidence proving cause and effect, Egginton's well-informed history of 16th-century Spanish life, politics, and culture makes for an engrossing read. He need not have insisted on sweeping claims for Cervantes' mind-changing influence."
A celebration of a beloved novel and its innovative author. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Contains several memoirs in one: ambitious, relentless, and occasionally messy."
A detailed pursuit of the author's ancestors, from the South to the North. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Berry helpfully exposes disturbing facts from across the country. Sadly, solutions cause the corrupt to create new ways to suppress voters, and it's a losing battle when local culture doesn't think it's a crime."
Berry (American Social Thought, History/Univ. of Pennsylvania; We Are Who We Say We Are: A Black Family's Search for Home Across the Atlantic World, 2014, etc.) exposes vote buying and corruption, which is as pervasive as ever. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >