Fall’s political titles tackle government surveillance, American soldiers, political legacies, and hunting and being hunted.

With ex-CIA staffer Edward Snowden’s leaks about National Security Agency surveillance in the headlines, Heidi Boghosian’s Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance feels especially timely. Boghosian reveals how the government acquires information from telecommunications companies and other organizations to create databases about “persons of interest.” Also sounding the alarm is American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution by William M. Arkin. Arkin (coauthor of Top Secret America) argues that “gray men” of the national security establishment are wielding more influence at top levels of government as they fight against terror and weapons of mass destruction.

Two titles study the plight of American soldiers after a decade of war. Thank You for Your Service, MacArthur Fellow David Finkel’s follow-up to The Good Soldiers, tracks the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion (who served on the front lines in Baghdad for 15 months) after they return home. Finkel writes about the war’s impact on these men, as well as on their spouses and children. Similarly, former U.S. Army officer Andrew J. Bacevich (Washington Rules) analyzes the separation between Americans and the military in Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. In a starred review, PW called the book an “impassioned and painfully convincing polemic.”

Turning to presidents past and present, Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer A. Scott Berg (Lindbergh) returns, after a decade of research and writing, with Wilson, which promises to be a landmark biography of our 28th president. Sure to be more polarizing is Ira Stoll’s JFK, Conservative, which publishes for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, and argues that the slain president was much more conservative than liberal. Jumping ahead many decades, journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (coauthors of the bestseller Game Change) aren’t ready for readers to forget the 2012 election. In Double Down: Game Change 2012, they narrate the fight for the Republican nomination, the ups and downs of being Mitt Romney, and Obama’s hard-won triumph.

Two political memoirs emerge from very different sides of the law. In The Investigator, lawyer Terry Lenzner details his storied 50-year career including serving as assistant chief counsel for the Senate Watergate Committee and investigating the kidnapping and murder of three civil rights workers—the inspiration for the film Mississippi Burning. Meanwhile, in Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident, former Weather Underground leader William Ayers (Fugitive Days) shares how he and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn, transformed from fugitives into community activists.

Looking abroad at human rights violations by the Chinese Communist Party, the collection In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China, edited by scholars Xu Youyu and Hua Ze, presents essays from ordinary citizens who have been punished for speaking out against the CCP. It’s a book to give readers pause, since for the Chinese, oppression and government surveillance can result in public beatings, unexplained detentions, house arrest, and sentences of life in prison.

PW’s Top 10: Politics

Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance. Heidi Boghosian. City Lights, Aug. 15.

American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution. William M. Arkin. Little, Brown, Sept. 10.

Thank You for Your Service. David Finkel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Sarah Crichton Books, Oct. 1.

Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. Andrew J. Bacevich. Metropolitan, Sept. 10.

Wilson. A. Scott Berg. Putnam, Sept. 10.

JFK, Conservative. Ira Stoll. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sept. 10.

Double Down: Game Change 2012. Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. Penguin Press, Nov. 5.

The Investigator. Terry Lenzer. Penguin/Blue Rider Press, Oct. 8.

Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident. William Ayers. Beacon, Oct. 8.

In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China. Edited by Xu Youyu and Hua Ze. Palgrave MacMillan, Oct. 29.

Politics Listings

Atria/Cash Money Content

The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership by Al Sharpton (Oct. 8, hardcover, $22, ISBN 978-1936399475). In his first book in more than a decade, Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, takes readers behind the scenes of some unexpected places—from officiating Michael Jackson’s funeral to taking charge of the Trayvon Martin case—and offers an intimate discussion of his own evolution from street activist, pulpit provocateur, and civil rights leader to the man he is today.


The Right to Stay Home: How U.S. Policy Drives Mexican Migration by David Bacon (Sept., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-080700161-5). The story of the growing resistance of Mexican communities to the poverty that forces people to migrate to the United States. This comprehensive portrait of immigration reveals how the interconnected web of labor, migration, and the global economy unites farmers, migrant workers, and union organizers across borders.

Public Enemy: Confessions of an American Dissident by William Ayers (Oct. 8, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-080703276-3). In this sequel to Fugitive Days, Ayers charts his life after the Weather Underground, when he becomes the GOP’s flaunted “domestic terrorist” and a “public enemy.”

Broadside Books

Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World by Daniel Hannan (Nov. 19, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0062231734). Does freedom have a future? The conservative author of The New Road to Serfdom argues that it rests with the fate of the Anglosphere: the English-speaking nations that invented political liberty and introduced it to the world. 35,000-copy announced first printing.

City Lights

(dist. by Consortium)

Spying on Democracy: Government Surveillance, Corporate Power, and Public Resistance by Heidi Boghosian, foreword by Lewis Lapham (Aug. 15, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0872865990). Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, documents the disturbing increase in surveillance of ordinary citizens. The book reveals how technology is used to categorize and monitor people based on their activities, associations, movements, purchases, and perceived political beliefs.


Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power by Kevin Peraino (Oct. 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0307887207). An illuminating examination of how Lincoln evolved into one of our seminal foreign-policy presidents and pointed the way to America’s rise as a world power.

The Message: The Reselling of President Obama by Richard Wolffe (Sept. 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0770437329) draws on Wolffe’s (Renegade) insider access to Obama’s communications team as they struggled to redefine a presidency in a tumultuous election year. Could they convince voters to believe once again in hope and change, when so many of their hopes had been dashed?

Crown Forum

Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics by Charles Krauthammer (Oct. 22, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0385349178). From conservative columnist Krauthammer, this collection goes beyond the world of politics to offer surprising reflections on everything from psychology to space exploration, medicine, family, chess, religion, and baseball.


Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House by Peter Baker (Oct. 22, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0385525183). From the senior White House correspondent for the New York Times comes the definitive history of the Bush and Cheney White House—a dramatic narrative of those eight controversial years.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Sarah Crichton Books

Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel (Oct. 1, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0374180669). Finkel follows up The Good Soldiers (in which he shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge in Baghdad), with a narrative of those same men as they return home and struggle to reintegrate—both into their family lives and American society at large.

Georgetown Univ. press

Just War: Authority, Tradition, and Practice, edited by Anthony F. Lang Jr., Cian O’Driscoll, and John Williams (Oct. 1, trade paper, $34.95, ISBN 978-1589019966) investigates who has the legitimate authority to make just-war claims and declare and prosecute war. Is the just war tradition’s relationship to religion, law, and democracy truly universal?

Vying for Allah’s Vote: Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan by Haroon K. Ullah (Dec. 1, trade paper, $26.95, ISBN 978-1626160156) analyzes the origins, ideologies, bases of support, and electoral successes of the largest and most influential Islamic parties in Pakistan, and assesses what separates the moderate from the extreme.

Harvard Univ. Press

Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics by Michael Ignatieff (Oct. 8, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0674725997). In 2005, Ignatieff left Harvard to lead Canada’s Liberal Party and by 2008 was poised to become prime minister. Following a bruising defeat, he describes what he learned about compromise and the necessity of bridging differences in a pluralist society.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

JFK, Conservative by Ira Stoll (Oct. 15, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0547585987). For the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK comes a sure-to-be-controversial argument that by virtually any standard, JFK was far more conservative than liberal. 40,000-copy announced first printing.


Arik: The Life of Ariel Sharon by David Landau (Jan. 21, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1400042418). The former editor-in-chief of Haaretz offers the first comprehensive biography of Ariel Sharon, considered by many to be Israel’s greatest military leader and political statesman. The book shows how Sharon’s leadership transformed Israel and how his views were shaped by the changing nature of Israeli society. 60,000-copy announced first printing.

Little, Brown

American Coup: How a Terrified Government Is Destroying the Constitution by William M. Arkin (Sept. 10, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0316251242) reveals the desk-bound takeover of government by a coterie of “gray men” of the national security establishment. This powerful and unelected group fights to save the nation from “terror” and weapons of mass destruction while at the same time undermining the very essence of the country. 25,000-copy announced first printing.

Metropolitan Books

Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country by Andrew J. Bacevich (Sept. 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0805082968) critiques the gulf between America’s soldiers and the society that sends them off to war. Bacevich (The Limits of Power) examines the separation between Americans and their military, tracing its origins to the Vietnam era and exploring its pernicious implications: a nation with an abiding appetite for war waged at enormous expense by a standing army unable to achieve victory.

The New Press

On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky (Nov. 5, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1595589101). A touchstone for anyone interested in the man dubbed “our nation’s conscience,” this book sheds light on the foundations of Chomsky’s thought, gathering essays and interviews to provide an accessible introduction to his optimistic brand of anarchism.

W.W. Norton

In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court by Mark Tushnet (Sept., hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0393073447). A Harvard Law School professor and constitutional law expert, Tushnet examines the initial years of the Roberts Court and the intellectual battle between Roberts and Kagan for leadership.

Getting Away with Murder: Benazir Bhutto’s Assassination and the Politics of Pakistan by Heraldo Muñoz (Dec., hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0393062915). The lead commissioner of the U.N. investigation offers an authoritative account of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill by Luis Gutierrez, with Douglas Scofield (Oct. 7, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0393088977). A frank, often hilarious memoir of political awakening and savvy activism by the 10-term Latino congressman from Chicago.

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism by Karima Bennoune (Aug. 26, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0393081589) presents eye-opening accounts of heroic resistance to religious extremism. PW’s review said the book “offers vital complexity to the monolithic portraits in the West of Islam, Muslims, and Muslim societies.”

W.W. Norton/Liveright

The Myth of America’s Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies by Josef Joffe (Nov. 4, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0871404497). From the editor of Die Zeit comes a provocative and contrarian work—filled with great lessons from history—that challenges the pervasive notion that America is on the decline.

Oxford Univ. Press

Out of the Mountains by David Kilcullen (Oct. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0199737505). A leading authority on modern war offers a forecast on the future of conflict and how we can forestall the dangers inherent in a rapidly changing world

The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World by T.V. Paul (Sept. 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0199322237) is a radically new approach to understanding the instability in Pakistan and the unintended consequences of foreign aid.

The Ethics of Immigration by Joseph Carens (Dec. 3, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0199933839) argues that democratic values of freedom and equality entail a commitment to open borders. Only in a world of open borders will we live up to our most basic principles.

Ashes of Hama: The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria by Raphael Lefevre (Oct. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0199330621). In this ground-breaking account of Syria’s highly secretive, Islamist organization, Lefevre draws on memoirs of former Syrian jihadists, British and American archives, and wide-ranging interviews with the Brotherhood’s leaders, as well as those who battled against them, many speaking on the record for the first time.

Palgrave Macmillan

JFK in the Senate: Pathway to the Presidency by John T. Shaw (Oct. 15, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0230341838). Based on newly opened archives, congressional historian and political insider Shaw sheds new light on JFK’s term in the Senate.

The New Democrats and the Return to Power by Al From, foreword by Bill Clinton (Dec. 3, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1137278647). From the founder of the influential Democratic Leadership Council comes a behind-the-scenes look at the rise of the New Democrats and how they built the foundation for a new generation of progressive leaders.

In the Shadow of the Rising Dragon: Stories of Repression in the New China, edited by Xu Youyu and Hua Ze (Oct. 29, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1137278791). Chinese citizens from all walks of life share their stories of brutality and oppression. Two Chinese scholars, both of whom have experienced surveillance, control, abduction, and detention, gather this revealing look at life under the police state of the world’s most populous country.

Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party by Geoffrey Kabaservice (Nov. 1, trade paper, $21.95, ISBN 978-0199975518). An insightful account of the long decline of Republican moderates, from the post-Eisenhower era to today’s Tea Party ideologues.

The Party Forever: Inside China’s Modern Communist Elite by Rowan Callick (Sept. 17, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1137278852). An inside look at the new leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and why the country’s continued prosperity will keep them in power for years to come.

Penguin/Blue Rider Press

The Investigator by Terry Lenzner (Oct. 8, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0399160554). A career memoir from Washington insider Lenzner, former assistant chief counselor for the Senate Watergate Committee, who uncovered the truths behind major news stories of the past 50 years, including the kidnapping and murder of three civil rights workers in the Deep South, the inspiration for the film Mississippi Burning.

Penguin Press

Double Down: Game Change 2012 by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann (Nov. 5, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1594204401). Following their account of the 2008 election, Game Change, Heilemann and Halperin apply their unparalleled access and storytelling savvy to the 2012 election, narrating the circuslike Republican nomination fight, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and Election Day triumph of Barack Obama.

Princeton Univ. Press

The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election by John Sides and Lynn Vavreck (Aug. 4, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0691156880). A “moneyball” look at the contest between Obama and Romney draws on extensive quantitative data about the economy, public opinion, news coverage, and political advertising to separate the important from the irrelevant.

Prometheus Books

Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman (Sept. 3, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1616148232) reveals the hidden roots of our most deeply held moral values and political orientations.


A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic by David N. Dinkins, with Peter Knobler (Aug. 6, hardcover, $29.99, ISBN 978-1610393010). This memoir by the former mayor of New York City offers a canny portrait of the education of a politician during tumultuous times.

Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding by Husain Haqqani (Nov. 5, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1610393171). A character-driven history of the bizarrely ill-suited alliance between America and Pakistan, written by a uniquely insightful participant: Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S.


Wilson by A. Scott Berg (Sept. 10, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-0399159213). After more than a decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize–winner Berg (Lindbergh) offers the most personal and penetrating biography ever written about the 28th president.

Random House

The Letters of Arthur Schlesinger Jr., edited by Andrew Schlesinger and Stephen C. Schlesinger (Oct. 29, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0812993097). This extraordinary collection of letters includes the late historian’s unvarnished views of the great issues and personalities of his time, from the 1920s to the first decade of the 21st century.

Regnery Publishing

Enemies of the Future by Newt Gingrich (Nov. 4, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 917-1621570219) proposes a bold vision: America is on the cusp of a renaissance, a new birth of innovation that will dramatically transform the prosperity of every American. Our biggest enemy? Special interest groups, powerful lobbyists, and government bureaucrats. 150,000-copy announced first printing.

Margaret Thatcher on Leadership: Lessons for American Conservatives Today by Nile Gardiner and Stephen Thompson (Oct. 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1621571643). This inspirational guide for conservatives combines stories from Lady Thatcher’s life with principles and strategies conservatives can apply to their challenges today. 30,000-copy announced first printing.

Emily Gets Her Gun: ...and Obama Wants Yours by Emily Miller (Sept. 2, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1621571926). A senior editor at the Washington Times urges readers to stand up and fight back to protect their Second Amendment rights. 50,000-copy announced first printing.

Untitled by Ann Coulter (Oct. 14, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1621571919) features the author’s signature uncensored, unapologetic, and unflinching mockery of liberals, hypocrites, and all other species of politician. 200,000-copy announced first printing.

Lynne Rienner Publishers

My Memoirs: Half a Century of the History of Iraq and the Arab Cause by Tawfiq al-Suwaydi, trans. by Nancy Roberts (Oct. 1, hardcover, $55, ISBN 978-1588269034). The memoirs of the distinguished Iraqi statesman al-Suwaydi (1892–1968) are an eloquent reminder that Iraq was once a far more open and tolerant society than it is today.

Rowman & Littlefield

Rebound: Getting America Back to Great by Kim R. Holms (Nov. 1, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1442223806). The vice president of the Heritage Foundation studies how America has moved away from the principles and practices that once made it the world’s greatest nation and lays out the vision and roadmap for how America can bounce back.


Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge by Scott Walker, with Marc Thiessen (Nov. 19, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1595231079). Controversial Wisconsin governor Walker recounts his fight to reform his state and issues a call to action for the whole country.

Simon & Schuster

Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy by Kenneth Pollack (Sept. 10, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1476733920). An expert on Middle Eastern relations examines Iran’s current nuclear potential and charts America’s future course of action.

Simon & Schuster/Gallery

These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie by Christopher Andersen (Aug. 6, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1476732329) presents the most famous couple in the world in their last year together, and answers lingering questions about this still-mesmerizing marriage.

My Country, ’Tis of Thee by Keith Ellison (Sept. 24, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1451666878). The first Muslim to be elected to Congress speaks out about what divides Americans—and what can bring us together.

Simon & Schuster/Threshold Editions

Untitled by Mark R. Levin (Aug. 13, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1451606270). The long-awaited new book from the nationally syndicated conservative radio host, author of Ameritopia and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation

Axis of Upheaval by Lou Dobbs (Oct. 8, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1476728858). The host of Lou Dobbs Tonight offers his illuminating views on some of our nation’s most intractable problems.

Spiegel & Grau

The Divide by Matt Taibbi (Jan. 28, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0812993424). Investigative journalist Taibbi (The Great Derangement) presents a galvanizing exploration of the newest divide in America, where the wealth gap is transforming the meaning of rights, justice, and citizenship.

St. Martin’s

For the Next Generation: A Wake-Up Call to Solving Our Nation’s Problems by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with Julie M. Fenster (Oct. 15, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1250000996). Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Chair Wasserman Schultz challenges the nation to resolve tough issues for future generations.


Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America by Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman (Sept. 3, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1476727936). Two Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists examine one of the most sensitive post-9/11 national security investigations, a breathtaking race to avert a second devastating terrorist attack on American soil.


Russians: The People Behind the Power by Gregory Feifer (Sept. 10, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1455509645) explains the paradoxes of Russian life by unraveling the nature of its people: what is it in their history, desires, and conception of themselves that makes them baffling to the West? 25,000-copy announced first printing.

Univ. of California press

Thank You, Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse by Nathan Schneider, foreword by Rebecca Solnit (Sept. 22, trade paper, $24.95, ISBN 978-0520276802) vividly documents how the Occupy experience opened new social and political possibilities, registered a chilling indictment of the status quo, and shook millions out of tedium and into imagining, and fighting for, a better future.

Verso books

(dist. by Random House)

A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, and American Culture by Alexander Cockburn (Sept. 10, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1781681190). The Nation columnist who died in 2012 was one of the most influential journalists of his generation. According to PW, “Cockburn’s gleefully contrarian punditry makes for an entertaining read.”


Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America by Dan Balz, edited by James Silberman (Aug. 6, hardcover, $32.95, ISBN 978-0670025947). From the author of The Battle for America 2008 and longtime Washington Post correspondent, an inside view and analysis of the presidential race.

Yale Univ. press

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber (Nov. 26, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0300164671) asks whether cities can solve the biggest problems of the 21st century better than nations, and whether the city is democracy’s best hope.