Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or
In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine

Tim Judah. Crown/Duggan, $27 (240p) ISBN 978-0-451-49547-1

With this fascinating and often grim portrait of Ukraine, Judah, a journalist who previously covered the Balkan wars, contributes to a greater Western understanding of the country since the Maidan revolution, Russia’s capture of Crimea, and the Russian-backed uprising in the eastern Donbass region in 2014. This work stands out by splitting the difference between a purely journalistic account and a scholarly analysis. Judah offers a compassionate human view of these conflicts, mixing personal stories, history, politics, and reportage to document “what Ukraine is really like and what its people have to say.” He travels through the country’s distinct regions and shares anecdotes from a number of people he encounters there, including academics, government officials, teachers, doctors, and more colorful characters such as a “turbocharged” 59-year-old zookeeper and an 87-year-old “bomb shelter poet.” Judah describes a vast, complex society in the midst of an uncertain, frozen conflict, and a country rife with corruption, political and ethnic divisions, and misinformation. Despite clearly evident splits in loyalties and a wide range of opinions on the current situation, ordinary people are often more concerned with their immediate needs than geopolitical struggles. Judah’s special and timely book will provide lay readers with an apt introduction to Ukraine, and specialists will appreciate its atypical yet enlightening approach and its insights into the social aspects of ongoing conflicts. Maps & photos. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint

Nicholas J. Webb. Amacom, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8144-3781-0

Webb, a consultant and partner at Lassen Innovation, explores the concept of superior customer service that not only satisfies clients but converts them into advocates for one’s business. Webb states that the emphasis of customer service should be on two extremely simple concepts: “what customers love” and “what customers hate.” He groups his ideas into sections on customer experience and the customer-business relationship. He identifies three principles for creating singular service, namely “understand, invent, and express,” and examines how expectations for service have changed—and risen—in recent years. The book’s second half focuses on five touchpoints between a business and its customers, explaining to businesspeople how to first connect with consumers then stay connected with them. Webb concludes with thoughts on how technology will shape customer experience in the future and offers a practical roadmap for answering the titular question. Chapters end with helpful takeaways that recap important ideas, and the book’s clever design, which includes ample visuals, also helps to stress key points. Insightful and pragmatic, this book provides the tools that organizations need to truly satisfy customers and orchestrate memorable experiences for them. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Simply Happy: A Crash Course in Chicken Soup for the Soul Advice and Wisdom

Amy Newmark. Chicken Soup for the Soul, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-61159-949-7

This compilation of lessons from a Wall Street investment banker turned self-help author and publisher will enrich the lives of its readers. Nine years ago, Newmark (Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less) and her husband, Bill, acquired the ubiquitous Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise. With this book, she aims to help readers enact similarly dramatic life changes. Newmark weaves her stories and those of others into a series of lessons on going easier on yourself, loving your body, pretending to be confident so you eventually come to be so, expecting the best of people, being bold and trusting your instincts, practicing gratitude, enjoying the little things, and living with passion. Newmark adds that “happiness is not a mysterious, elusive lottery ticket” but “a jackpot within everyone’s grasp once we remove the obstacles we put in our own paths.” Those obstacles also include “frenemies,” whom the author advises readers to ditch. Sensible and empowering, Newmark’s work aims to teach others how to live a satisfying life. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Flaubert

Michel Winock, trans. from the French by Nicholas Elliott. Belknap, $35 (532p) ISBN 978-0-674-73795-2

Winock’s unremarkable—though nicely detailed and elegantly translated—life of Gustave Flaubert adds nothing new to the ground already covered better and more entertainingly by Frederick Brown’s Flaubert: A Biography and Geoffrey Wall’s Flaubert: A Life. In straightforward fashion, Winock narrates Flaubert’s life from his early years living on the grounds of a hospital (he was the son of a renowned surgeon) and his youthful decision to become a writer (“to write, is to take hold of the world”) to his amorous on-again-off-again relationship with Louise Colet, his intellectual friendship with George Sand, his fascination with Egypt, and his brush with financial ruin. Winock offers close readings of Flaubert’s writings: in Madame Bovary, “Flaubert had turned the trivial into art”; in Salammbô, “he satisfied his need for beauty with horrifying and monstrous scenes.” Winock suggests that Flaubert’s Sentimental Education is perhaps the novelist’s true masterpiece because, in presenting the lives of ordinary people, it escaped “the ruins of the heroic novel—a genre to which Madame Bovary still belonged.” Winock’s serviceable biography paints a familiar portrait of the “hermit of Croisset” as the artist who elevated the art of writing above the fray of the modern world, becoming the “most modern writer of his time.” (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Best American Essays 2016

Edited by Jonathan Franzen, series editor Robert Atwan. Mariner, $14.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-544-81210-9

In choosing the essays for this thought-provoking volume, guest editor Franzen (Purity) used risk as his main criterion: specifically, did the author take one? And his selections do indeed go to risky, sensitive places. Most of all, they do what the essay form arguably does best: engaging the personal in order to reach larger themes. There are several standouts even among this stellar company, such as Joyce Carol Oates’s gut-wrenching story of her severely autistic younger sister, and Jaquira Díaz’s vivid telling of being abused as a child. Francisco Cantú’s diary of becoming a border patrol agent is gripping. Laura Kipnis’s exploration of sexual consent guidelines about relationships between students and college professors is startlingly candid. Alexander Chee and Mason Stokes both grapple with questions of queer identity, and Jill Sisson Quinn makes unexpectedly poignant connections between wanting to adopt a child and her love of salamander watching. The collection also includes one of the last pieces written by Oliver Sacks before his death in 2015. As Franzen notes in his excellent introduction, and as his selections prove, the essay form forces authors to take measure of themselves, and allows the reader to do so as well. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe

Robert Matzen. GoodKnight, $28.95 (408p) ISBN 978-0-9962740-5-0

Even before Hollywood legend Jimmy Stewart went off to war, he was a fighter, working hard to prove his passion for military aviation to the U.S. government. In this meticulously researched book, film historian Matzen (Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3) provides the rich, detailed backstory of Stewart’s time as a WWII bomber pilot. He delves deep into Stewart’s restless spirit, chronicling his family’s legacy of war service, his rise to movie stardom, the many women in his life, and his struggles to fly and serve his country. Matzen paints a revealing picture of a man who defied bureaucratic and health obstacles to become a U.S. Army Air Force squadron commander. He depicts the excitement and horror of life in a bomber crew as Stewart commanded a series of missions over Germany, interspersing his story with those of other WWII survivors, such as radio operator Clem Leone and Gertrud Siepmann, who was a young child in Germany during Hitler’s rise to power. He also shows that, although considered a war hero, Stewart had difficulty getting reestablished as an actor until Frank Capra cast him in It’s a Wonderful Life. Military and movie buffs alike will revel in this vivid portrayal of a man who successfully straddled two worlds. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Death: An Oral History

Casey Jarman. Pulp, $22.99 (355p) ISBN 978-1-942186-12-0

Jarman, a contributing editor at the Believer, confronts his own mortal dread with this profound collection of essays, based on oral history–style interviews with experts on death such as Maus cartoonist Art Spiegelman, a funeral-focused consumer advocate, and a hospice worker. A childhood friend of Jarman’s recounts his grief after his twin brother shot himself when the boys were in seventh grade, and his feelings of being left behind. A philosophy professor at Oregon State University outlines the curriculum for his “Death and Dying” course. A certified professional in life celebrations discusses the human need for ritual. Proving that even death has a mundane side, a reporter for the trade magazine Mortuary Management breaks down her process of writing copy for funeral home websites. In the most devastating chapter, Jarman interviews a close friend dealing with the recent and sudden death of her mother. Her shock and pain are visceral on the page, and she provides practical advice on how to support a grieving friend. Through Jarman’s discerning curation, interesting thought patterns emerge. Even those dealing with death professionally discuss it with remarkable candor and intimacy. These people, many of whom walk with death gracefully every day, make the concept a little less frightening—and deeply human. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Voting Rights War: The NAACP on the Ongoing Struggle for Justice

Gloria J. Browne-Marshall. Rowman & Littlefield, $36 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4422-6689-6

Browne-Marshall (Race, Law, and American Society), an associate constitutional law professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, delivers a passionate, comprehensive history of the NAACP and its crucial role in the still ongoing battle for voting rights. Founded in response to the Springfield (Ill.) Riot of 1908 and initially led by white liberals, the NAACP, as Browne-Marshall shows, focused on voter rights from the start. She highlights how the NAACP’s involvement in nearly every voting rights case argued before the Supreme Court speaks to its effective tripartite strategy of “litigation, legislation, and protest.” With considerable insight, Browne-Marshall guides readers through a century of pivotal legal struggles: 1896’s Plessy v. Ferguson; poll taxes and literacy tests; whites-only primaries; the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965; and the present-day photo ID laws, voter dilution efforts, and gutting of certain voter protections in the 2013 Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder decision. She also shows the Supreme Court’s changing makeup through the decades and resurrects the people—Moorfield Storey, Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, Mary White Ovington—who struggled on the NAACP’s behalf. With vivid descriptions of voter intimidation, murders, riots, and lynchings, this work emphasizes that “freedom is not free.” (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
My Own Words

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy Williams. Simon & Schuster, $30 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5011-4524-7

This collection of Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg’s writings, spanning 70 years, is an excellent introduction to this Renaissance woman and will whet readers’ appetites for her forthcoming biography by coauthors Hartnett and Williams. No one will be surprised that it contains cogent, well-reasoned, and accessible entries on subjects of general interest, such as equal rights for women and judicial independence. Even those who have followed the octogenarian jurist over her long and distinguished tenure on the Supreme Court will find plenty of less expected items to relish, including an editorial Ginsburg wrote as an eighth grader in 1946 for her Brooklyn elementary school newspaper on the importance of the new U.N. Charter. Her passion for operas is expressed in remarks she made on the radio in 2015, analyzing how law and lawyers have been portrayed in them. At a time of bitter political partisanship, her respect and affection for colleagues with different views, as displayed in posthumous tributes to fellow justices Rehnquist and Scalia, are very welcome. The variety of subjects is impressive, and Ginsburg’s gift for concision enables her to discuss them in enough detail to engage interest while leaving the reader wanting more. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
Waging War: The Clash Between Presidents and Congress, 1776 to ISIS

David J. Barron. Simon & Schuster, $30 (576p) ISBN 978-1-4516-8197-0

Barron, a federal appeals court judge, surveys the fraught struggles between presidents and congresses over their war powers since before the creation of American constitutional government in 1787 and up through the Obama administration. . Barron takes strong issue with the claim that presidents trying to circumvent Congress and the legislature trying to limit presidential war-making are recent innovations, showing that neither branch of government has ever allowed the other to declare or wage war without interference. He argues vigorously from the authority of experience as acting assistant attorney general in the Obama Administration’s Office of Legal Council (in which capacity Barron drafted a controversial legal memo authorizing the use of lethal drone strikes against American citizens without due process) that recent presidents have always stopped short of asserting the “sweeping power to run the wars in which they have led the country however they have seen fit.” The book should be read widely by those responsible for the development and implementation of national policies. It’s a fine example of the use of history to illuminate current circumstances and to counter unsupportable claims and arguments about Congress and the president. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/26/2016 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.