THE STRUGGLE FOR SEA POWER by Sam Willis
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"A page-turner that delivers an eye-opening history of the American Revolution from a different perspective, as well as surprising details of what Willis maintains was the greatest war of the age of sail."
A history of how the American revolt of 1775 evolved into a worldwide conflict. Read full book review >
MESA OF SORROWS by James F. Brooks
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"An occasionally repetitive but fully illuminating account for any who relish the rich history and traditions of the Hopi."
Rather than a tale of bloody carnage, Brooks (History and Anthropology/Univ. of California, Santa Barbara; Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands, 2002) delivers a sharp scholarly account of the Hopi and their history, myths, and traditions.Read full book review >

THE GOLDEN LAD by Eric Burns
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"A minor but solid, very well-written contribution to the vast literature surrounding Teddy Roosevelt."
A storied family is broken apart by its patriarch's devotion to war and the quest for honor. Read full book review >
SEARCHING FOR SAPPHO by Philip Freeman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"'I long for and seek after,' one fragment reads, serving well as an epigraph for this evocative book about a mysterious ancient literary figure."
From fragmentary sources, a classicist reconstructs the life and times of the poet Plato called the 10th Muse. Read full book review >
HOW TO BE A TUDOR by Ruth Goodman
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"Fresh and illuminating history."
An intimate look inside the 16th-century household. Read full book review >

HAIR by Kurt Stenn
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 15, 2016

"A spirited, informative history of a fascinating fiber."
A hair-follicle scientist offers an edifying look at the biology, physiology, and history of hair. Read full book review >
THE ROAD TAKEN by Henry Petroski
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Anyone with an interest in the way things work will want this book—and will doubtless emerge as a fan of the ever curious author."
Noted engineer and writer Petroski (Civil Engineering/Duke Univ.; To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, 2012, etc.) gives readers a characteristically eye-opening look at America's infrastructure.Read full book review >
SO AS I WAS SAYING... by Frank Mankiewicz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"A roughly chronological memoir of a life well-lived, full of specific portraits and vivid detail."
Off-the-cuff sketches from a rich, committed life. Read full book review >
THE PROFITEERS by Sally Denton
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Filled with stories of cronyism and influence peddling, Denton's riveting and revealing book will undoubtedly displease the so-called 'boys from Bechtel,' who refused to talk to Denton, referring her to the company website."
Investigative journalist Denton (The Plots Against the President: FDR, A Nation in Crisis, and the Rise of the American Right, 2012, etc.) offers an ambitious "empire biography" of the Bechtel family and the secretive, privately held construction company-turned-diversified international conglomerate that has been "inextricably enmeshed" in U.S. foreign policy for seven decades. Read full book review >
THE SILK ROADS by Peter Frankopan
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"A vastly rich historical tapestry that puts ongoing struggles in a new perspective."
Throughout history, Central Asia has been a nexus of burgeoning trade in goods, people, and ideas. Read full book review >
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN IN LONDON by George Goodwin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"The British author provides finely textured, subtle shading to a well-known American Founding Father."
A fleshed-out examination of Benjamin Franklin's affinity with England. Read full book review >
STRANGE GODS by Susan Jacoby
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 16, 2016

"Jacoby draws the first detailed maps of a terrain that has been very much in need of intelligent, careful cartography."
In a work blending culture, religion, history, biography, and a bit of memoir (with more than a soupcon of attitude), the author of The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought (2013, etc.) returns with a revealing historical analysis of religious conversions.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 >