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 >
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 >

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 >
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 >

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 >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Great stuff for anyone who loves knowledge, deep or trivial. Some readers may even indulge in buying one of the more esoteric titles the author highlights—e.g., The Dictionary of Dainty Breakfasts or Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich."
Lynch (English/Rutgers Univ.; The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of ‘Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park, 2010) shares his love of reference books. Read full book review >
BLOOD YEAR by David Kilcullen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 29, 2016

"Direct, insightful, and frightening, this book will prepare readers to see through the misguided, simplistic solutions to the problems of Middle Eastern policy and Islamic terror so common in this election year."
A "mid-level player in some of the key events of the past decade" delivers a dispassionate, discouraging analysis of how the Western counterterrorism effort has gone so terribly wrong. Read full book review >
IMBECILES by Adam Cohen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A shocking tale about science and law gone horribly wrong, an almost forgotten case that deserves to be ranked with Dred Scott, Plessy, and Korematsu as among the Supreme Court's worst decisions."
Attorney, journalist, and bestselling author Cohen (Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days that Created Modern America, 2009, etc.) revisits an ugly chapter in American history: the 1920s mania for eugenics.Read full book review >
APOSTLE by Tom Bissell
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 2016

"A rich, contentious, and challenging book."
A deep dive into the heart of the New Testament, crossing continents and cross-referencing texts. Read full book review >
THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by Jonathan Dimbleby
HISTORY
Released: March 1, 2016

"Recent historians such as Clay Blair emphasize that the Allied supply line was never seriously in jeopardy, but Dimbleby sticks to the traditional cliffhanger version, delivering a gripping history overflowing with anecdotes and enough calamity, misery, explosions, and individual valor for a Hollywood disaster epic."
A fine account of the brutal sea campaign against Nazi Germany, from writer and broadcaster Dimbleby (Destiny in the Desert: The Road to El Alamein, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >
THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN by Timothy Egan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 2016

"A fascinating, well-told story by an author fully committed to his subject. Egan's impeccable research, uncomplicated readability, and flowing narrative reflect his deep knowledge of a difficult and complex man."
The story of Thomas Meagher (1823-1867), an Irishman radicalized by the famine who became a hero on three continents. 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 >