With the presidential election just months away, this fall’s crop of politics books dives into the issues and cultural trends that are driving the daily news cycle.
Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives
Gary Younge. Nation, Oct. 4
Younge presents a series of portraits of young people taken from us far too soon by gun violence that has become all to common in America.
Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State
Barton Gellman. Penguin Press, Sept. 20
The three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author who unearthed the deepest secrets of Edward Snowden’s NSA archive offers an inside account of the surveillance-industrial revolution and its discontents.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Secret Plan for America
Nancy MacLean. Viking, Jan. 10
MacLean, an award-winning historian, tells the largely unknown backstory of the radical right’s moment of creation, and parts the curtains on the movement’s political agenda.
The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America
Alexander Zaitchik. Hot Books, Sept. 20
Who are Donald Trump’s supporters? Zaitchik seeks a deeper understanding of the presumptive 2016 Republican nominee and a right-wing movement without precedent in American presidential politics.
How We Got to Now, Book 2: The World We Made by Having Fun
Steven Johnson. Riverhead, Dec. 6
In the follow-up to his bestselling How We Got to Now, Johnson argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for the future wherever people are having the most fun.
The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East
Jay Solomon, Random House, Sept. 6
The Wall Street Journal foreign affairs correspondent explores the decades-long hostility between Iran and the United States, and the historic nuclear deal framework of 2015.
Liars: How Big-Government Progressives Teach Us to Lie About Ourselves
Glenn Beck. S&S/Threshold, Aug. 2
The bestselling author and conservative radio host argues that progressivism is eroding the foundation of the country.
Thank You for Being Late: Finding a Job, Running a Country, and Keeping Your Head in an Age of Accelerations
Thomas L. Friedman. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov. 22
The New York Times columnist argues that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration—and explains how to live in it.
They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of #Blacklivesmatter
Wesley Lowery. Little, Brown, Nov. 15
A behind-the-barricades look at the young men and women behind the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as its past and future.
Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped
Garry Kasparov, PublicAffairs, Nov. 8
Former world chess champion turned political activist Kasparov describes what he sees as Russia’s slide back into a dictatorship, and argues that the West will pay the price for Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency of Russia.
Politics & Current Events Listings
Full Faith and Credit: Debt, Spending, Taxes, and the Bankrupting of America by Alan Axelrod, illus. by Michael Ramirez (Sept. 13, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-0-7892-1283-2). What is the national debt? Who loses from it? Who profits from it? Is it a greater threat to America than international terrorism? This book follows the money and finds the answers. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
India Sutra: Reflections on the World’s Largest Democracy in the 21st Century by Shashi Tharoor (Jan. 3, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-62872-716-6). One of India’s most distinguished writers offers a panoramic insider’s look at the road ahead for India in an unprecedented era of change. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force by Eliot A. Cohen (Jan. 3, hardcover, $27.50, ISBN 978-0-465-04472-6). A renowned scholar of international relations argues that the United States must use military power in support of its foreign policy, although doing so will require U.S. leaders to rethink and reorder America’s strength. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
Twilight Warriors: The Soldiers, Spies, and Special Agents Who Are Revolutionizing the American Way of War by James Kitfield (Oct. 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-465-06470-0). Award-winning foreign correspondent Kitfield offers a dramatic portrait of the innovative Special Forces commanders and FBI agents who have pioneered an interagency, networkcentric strategy to battle America’s hidden enemies. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People”: And Other Myths About Guns and Gun Control by Dennis A. Henigan (Aug. 2, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8070-8884-5) debunks the lethal logic behind the pervasive myths and bumper-sticker logic that have framed the gun control debate.
Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City by Steve Early (Jan. 17, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-8070-9426-6) reveals how the working-class company town of Richmond, Calif., harnessed the power of local politics to reclaim their community from one of the largest oil refineries in the state.
Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line by Heather Hendershot (Oct. 4, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-243045-8) is a compelling portrait of William F. Buckley as the champion of conservative ideas in an age of liberal dominance, taking on the smartest adversaries he could find while singlehandedly reinventing the role of public intellectual in the network TV era. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
Against the Death Penalty by Stephen Breyer, edited by John Bessler (Aug. 23, hardcover, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-8157-2889-4). Justice Stephen G. Breyer argues that the death penalty is carried out unfairly and inconsistently, and thus violates the ban on “cruel and unusual punishments” specified by the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
America at War with Itself: Authoritarian Politics in a Free Society by Henry A. Giroux (Sept. 13, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-732-1). From hatemongering tactics in the run-up to the 2016 presidential race to the increasing number of mass shootings, and excessive police violence, Giroux presents a blistering critique of how America’s drift toward authoritarian intolerance is dividing the nation. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think by Ralph Nader (Aug. 16, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-705-5) draws from a lifetime waging—and often winning—David vs. Goliath battles against big corporations to offer this Thomas Paine–style indictment of the wealthy corporations that control U.S. politics, and shows how average Americans can fight back. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Crashing the Party: An American Reporter in China by Scott Savitt (Oct. 11, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-59376-652-8). In this political memoir, Savitt, a former reporter for Asiaweek magazine, and the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China’s history, recounts how he found himself caught up in the country’s complex web of political contradictions and violence.
The Great Suppression: Voting Rights, Corporate Cash, and the Conservative Assault on Democracy by Zachary Roth (Aug. 2, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-101-90576-0) argues that a growing number of Republicans are afraid of popular rule—and they’re doing everything they can to limit it, through a range of efforts, including gerrymandering, voter ID laws, and campaign finance initiatives.
Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil (Sept. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-553-41881-1). A former Wall Street quant sounds the alarm on mathematical modeling—a pervasive new force in society that threatens to undermine democracy and widen inequality.
The Long Game: The Greatness of the Obama Presidency by Jonathan Chait (Nov. 15, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242697-0). Acclaimed as one of the most incisive and meticulous political commentators in America, Chait digs deep into Obama’s record on major policy fronts to argue that history will judge our 44th president as among the greatest and most accomplished in history. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Secret Lives of Web Pages by Paul Ford (Jan. 3, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-26111-5). A definitive, necessary explanation of how the Internet works, by a writer, programmer, and webmaster for Harper’s magazine.
Thank You for Being Late: Finding a Job, Running a Country, and Keeping Your Head in an Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman (Nov. 22, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-27353-8). In his most ambitious work to date, New York Times columnist Friedman shows that we have entered an age of dizzying acceleration—and explains how to live in it.
The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics by Maureen Dowd (Sept. 13, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-455539-2-60). The New York Times columnist offers an incendiary look at the bizarre yet fascinating election of 2016.
Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism by James T. Hamilton (Oct. 10, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-54550-2). In democratic societies, investigative journalism holds government and private institutions accountable to the public. But important stories are going untold, Hamilton argues, as news outlets shy away from the expense of watchdog reporting.
Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform by Tommie Shelby (Nov. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-674-97050-2). Why do American ghettos persist? Shelby advances a social vision and political ethos that calls for putting the abolition of ghettos at the center of reform.
Racism in America: Leonard Pitts Speaks by Leonard Pitts (Nov. 8, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-63353-447-6) collects essays from the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and bestselling author on issues of race in the U.S., from the earliest days through the most recent Ferguson riots.
The Gilded Rage: A Wild Ride Through Donald Trump’s America by Alexander Zaitchik (Sept. 20, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-1428-1). The once unimaginable emergence of Donald Trump as the 2016 Republican nominee has left the country scrambling for answers and explanations. Who, exactly, are Trump’s supporters? Where are they coming from? What are they thinking, and what do they want? Zaitchik seeks a deeper understanding of a right-wing movement without precedent. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Unspeakable by Chris Hedges, with David Talbot (Oct. 11, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-1273-7) takes on the most sensitive topics in America, from the rise of Donald Trump to Black Lives Matter, in an effort to combat “the intellectual and moral decay” that has come to grip American life. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Radicalized: The New Generation of Jihadis and the Threat to the West by Peter R. Neumann (Dec. 30, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-78453-673-2). The attacks in Paris in January and November 2015 heralded the beginning of a new wave of terrorism, rooted in the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq. Based on interviews and previously unseen material, Neumann provides an essential introduction to one of the greatest security crises of our time.
Biting the Hands That Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable by Baylen J. Linnekin (Sept. 15, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-61091-675-2). Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks—these are the kind of problems we expect food regulations to combat. Yet the government often makes these problems worse. This book warns against efforts to regulate our way to a greener food system, calling instead for empowerment of those working to feed us, and themselves, sustainably.
The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People by Walter Russell Mead (Jan. 17, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-375-41404-6). The acclaimed author of God and Gold and Special Providence presents a groundbreaking new work that overturns the conventional understanding of the Israeli-American relationship and explores the fate of the Jewish people.
Assassination Generation: Video Games, Aggression, and the Psychology of Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (Ret.), with Kristine Paulsen and Katie Miserany (Aug. 9, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-26593-5). The author of the bestseller On Killing reveals how violent video games have ushered in a new era of mass homicide—and what we must do about it. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
They Can’t Kill Us All: The Story of #Blacklivesmatter by Wesley Lowery (Nov. 15, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-31247-9) is the first book to go behind the barricades of #blacklivesmatter to tell the story of the young men and women who are calling for a new America, a galvanizing look at where the movement came from, where it is headed, and where it still has to go. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Dragons in Diamond Village: Tales of Resistance from Urbanizing China by David Bandurski (Oct. 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-61219-571-1). Journalist Bandurski brings to light the dark side of the Chinese dream, offering an account of the contradictions of economic growth and urban development in China.
Environmentalism of the Rich by Peter Dauvergne (Sept. 16, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-262-03495-1). Over the past 50 years, environmentalism has emerged as a clear counterforce to the environmental destruction caused by industrialization, colonialism, and globalization, but, Dauvergne shows, more eco-products can often just mean more corporate profits, consumption, and waste.
Hate Spin: The Manufacture of Religious Offense and Its Threat to Democracy by Cherian George (Sept. 23, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-262-03530-9) shows how sophisticated campaigns touting religious freedom are often manufactured by political opportunists to mobilize supporters and to marginalize opponents.
Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge (Oct. 4, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-56858-975-6). On an average day in America, seven young people aged 19 or under will be shot dead. Younge presents a gripping chronicle of an ordinary but deadly day in American life, and a series of character portraits of young people taken from us far too soon, as well as those they left behind. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt by Sarah Jaffe (Aug. 23, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-56858-536-9) argues that Americans, regardless of political alignment, are boldly challenging who wields power in this country, whether in the growth of the Tea Party, the successful fight for a $15/hour minimum wage, a 21st-century black freedom struggle with Black Lives Matter, or the grassroots networks supporting presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Nordberg (Oct. 11, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-78074-950-1). Every day we’re bludgeoned by news of how bad everything is—financial collapse, unemployment, environmental disasters, disease, hunger, war. But, Nordberg argues, the rarely acknowledged reality is that the economic and social progress of the past few decades has been unprecedented.
Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment, edited by Angela J. Davis (Jan. 24, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-101-87127-0). Distinguished American legal scholars analyze the key issue of the Black Lives Matter movement: the often lethally hostile relationship between American law enforcement and African-American men.
Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State by Barton Gellman (Sept. 20, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-59420-601-6). From the three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author who unearthed the deepest secrets of Edward Snowden’s NSA archive comes an inside account of the surveillance-industrial revolution and its discontents, who are fighting back against state and corporate intrusions into our most private spheres.
A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order by Richard Haass (Jan. 17, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-56236-5). The president of the Council on Foreign Relations offers a lucid and incisive breakdown of our shifting landscape, and the need for a new American foreign policy that reflects a 21st-century world.
Debriefing the President: The Interrogation of Saddam Hussein by John Nixon (Aug. 2, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-399-57581-5). The CIA agent who conducted the interrogation of Saddam Hussein reveals what he learned about the former Iraqi dictator and offers many contrarian opinions to what we know about the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Against Democracy by Jason Brennan (Aug. 30, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-16260-7). Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results—and the results show that democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, which does most of us little good.
Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings by Louis Klarevas (Aug. 23, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-63388-066-5). In the past decade, no individual act of violence has killed more people in the United States than the mass shooting. This well-researched, forcefully argued book answers some of the most pressing questions facing our society: why do people go on killing sprees?
What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People by Jennifer Bachner and Benjamin Ginsberg (Oct. 4, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-63388-249-2). Each year unelected federal administrators write thousands of regulations possessing the force of law. What do these civil servants know about the American people whom they ostensibly serve? Not much, according to this study.
All the Kremlin’s Men: Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin by Mikhail Zygar (Sept. 6, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-739-1) charts Vladimir Putin’s transformation from a passionate fan of the West and a liberal reformer into a hurt and introverted outcast, and offers a compelling portrait of modern Russia, a country swirling with intrigue and paranoia. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped by Garry Kasparov (Nov. 8, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-61039-719-3) tells the stunning story of Russia’s slide back into a dictatorship—and how the West is now paying the price for Vladimir Putin’s ascent to the presidency of Russia. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East by Jay Solomon (Sept. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-9364-6). A Wall Street Journal foreign affairs correspondent explores the decades-long hostility between Iran and the United States, and the historic—and potentially disastrous—nuclear deal and rapprochement.
Known and Strange Things: Essays by Teju Cole (Aug. 9, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8129-8978-6) is the first book of essays by the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief.
How We Got to Now, Book 2: The World We Made by Having Fun by Steven Johnson (Dec. 6, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-0-7352-1191-9). In this lushly illustrated follow-up to the bestselling How We Got to Now, the New York Times–bestselling author compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for the future wherever people are having the most fun.
Rowman & Littlefield
Cyberbullying and the Wild, Wild Web: What Everyone Needs to Know by J.A. Hitchcock (Dec. 16, hardcover, $34, ISBN 978-1-4422-5117-5). As the Internet makes the world more accessible, it has also increased the possibility of cyberbullying and cyberstalking. Hitchcock presents real-life examples of Internet crime and responses by the public and the criminal justice system.
Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the United States Supreme Court by James D. Zirin, foreword by Kermit Roosevelt (Sept. 15, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4422-6636-0), explains how we arrived at the present situation, and looks at the current divide through its leading partisans, justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor on the left and Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas on the right.
ISIS: The Terror Nation by Loretta Napoleoni (Aug. 9, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-60980-725-2). ISIS is not another terrorist network, Napoleoni argues, but a formidable enemy in tune with the new modernity of the current world disorder.
Merchants of Men: The Business of Kidnapping Inside the Refugee Crisis by Loretta Napoleoni (Aug. 9, hardcover, $23.95, ISBN 978-1-60980-708-5). Napoleoni offers a powerful critique of the sophisticated underground networks that deliver thousands of refugees a day along the Mediterranean coasts of Europe, a new breed of criminal enterprise that has risen out of the political chaos of post-9/11 Western foreign policy and the fiasco of the Arab Spring.
Simon & Schuster
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks (Aug. 9, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-4767-7786-3). Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever. Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown University, examines what happens when the ancient boundary between war and peace is erased.
Liars: How Big-Government Progressives Teach Us to Lie About Ourselves by Glenn Beck (Aug. 2, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4767-9885-1). The bestselling author and conservative radio host argues that progressivism is eroding the foundation of this country.
Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto by Jesse Ventura, with Jen Hobbs (Sept. 6, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-1424-3). The former professional wrestler and Minnesota governor lays out his philosophy on marijuana and why he’s always been in favor of legalization. 80,000-copy announced first printing.
The Art of Being Free: Alexis de Tocqueville and the Way We Live Now by James Poulos (Jan. 17, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-07718-9). De Tocqueville’s seminal work, Democracy in America, is still surprisingly resonant, argues Poulos, as he explores how a modern reading of the classic text might help alleviate our uniquely American malaise.
Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? by Mark Thompson (Sept. 6, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05957-4). Free speech has always been limited by obstacles: national, state, or local laws, organizational rules, social restrictions, incomplete transmission via technology, and the limits of language itself. But with the advent of social media platforms, Thompson, CEO of the New York Times Company, outlines both the positive trends in public engagement and the dangers of speech without accountability.
Age of Folly: America Destroys Its Democracy by Lewis Lapham (Sept. 13, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-78478-711-0) collects essays on the frantic retreat of democracy and the war on terror by one of America’s leading essayists. Lapham covers the beginning of the war on terror to the bombastic spectacle of the current U.S. elections.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Secret Plan for America by Nancy MacLean (Jan. 10, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-101-98096-5). The frightening and largely unknown backstory of the radical right’s political agenda, from award-winning historian MacLean: billionaires didn’t create this movement, she argues; the South did.
The Battle for Syria: International Rivalry in the New Middle East by Christopher Phillips (Oct. 25, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-300-21717-9). Most accounts of Syria’s brutal, long civil war focus on a domestic contest that began in 2011 and only later drew foreign nations into the escalating violence. But Phillips explores the roles the United States and other nations have played in shaping the ongoing civil war.
The Winchester: The Gun That Built an American Dynasty by Laura Trevelyan (Sept. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-300-22338-5). Arguably the world’s most famous firearm, the Winchester repeating rifle was one of the first to fire continuously without needing to be reloaded after every round. Trevelyan, a descendant of the Winchester family, offers a fascinating history of the family behind the popular firearm that changed America and the world.