As the nation (and the world) grapples with the prospect of a Trump presidency, this spring’s politics books explore the challenges, divisions, and cultural trends his administration will face.
An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back
Elisabeth Rosenthal. Penguin Press, Apr. 11
The award-winning reporter examines the dysfunctional American healthcare system and tells us what we can do to solve its myriad problems.
Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy
Sheldon Whitehouse, with Melanie Wachtell Stinnett. New Press, Feb. 21
U.S. Senator Whitehouse offers his take on how corporate influence affects our government.
A Colony in a Nation
Chris Hayes. Norton, Mar. 21
Examining recent events, the Emmy Award–winning news anchor argues that there isn’t one system of justice in America beset by racial inequity but two distinct systems.
Democracy: The Long Road to Freedom
Condoleezza Rice. Hachette/Twelve, May 2
The former secretary of state shares insights from her experiences as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in an effort to put democracy’s challenges into perspective.
Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America
Michael Ruhlman. Abrams, May 16
Part reportage, part social commentary, Ruhlman’s work sheds light on how our food is sourced, sold, and consumed.
How the Hell Did This Happen? The Election of 2016
P.J. O’Rourke. Atlantic Monthly, Mar. 7
Political satirist O’Rourke guides us from the primaries through his endorsement of Hillary Clinton in this humorous take on this year’s presidential election.
How Liberty Can Change the World
Gary E. Johnson. Broadside, June 13
The Libertarian Party presidential nominee writes about the two-party system—and why Libertarianism will become the center of American politics.
#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media
Cass R. Sunstein. Princeton Univ., Mar. 28
The legal scholar details how the Internet is creating new threats to democracy, as social media companies sort users into groups of like-minded people.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
Michael Eric Dyson. St. Martin’s, Jan. 17 (moved up from April 4)
One of America’s leading black voices speaks out as the country wrestles with racial injustice and anger at a level not seen since the 1960s.
Turning Point: Reclaiming an America We Can Believe In
K.T. McFarland. Crown Forum, Apr. 25
The Fox News contributor (and recently appointed Trump advisor) outlines why the next administration has a unique opportunity to recapture American exceptionalism.
Politics & Current Events Listings
Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Ruhlman (May 16, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4197-2386-5). Bestselling author Ruhlman offers incisive commentary on America’s relationship with its food and investigates the overlooked source of so much of it—the grocery store. Part reportage, part social commentary, Ruhlman sheds light on how our food is sourced, sold, and consumed. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Ways of Grace by James Blake (July 11, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-235452-5). Tennis star Blake has experienced the effects of racism firsthand—publicly—first at the U.S. Open, and then in a headline-grabbing incident in front of his hotel on a busy Manhattan street. In this book, he reflects on his experiences as well as those of other public figures who have used their lives to unite, rather than divide. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
How the Hell Did This Happen? The Election of 2016 by P. J. O’Rourke (Mar. 7, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-8021-2619-1). The celebrated political satirist, journalist, and diehard Republican takes us from the primaries through his “come-to-Satan” moment—endorsing Hillary Clinton—in this humourous, essential take on the stranger-than-fiction 2016 presidential election.
Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond by Marc Lamont Hill, foreword by Todd Brewster (May 2, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-5011-2496-9). From the scores of unarmed citizens shot by police to drinking tainted water and mass incarcerations, public intellectual and acclaimed journalist Hill offers a powerful, paradigm-shifting analysis of race and class in America.
The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida (Apr. 11, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-465-07974-2). The author of The Rise of the Creative Class offers a compelling diagnosis of the economic ills affecting our cities, and offers a bold prescription for more inclusive cities, capable of ensuring growth and prosperity for all.
Toxic Inequality: How America’s Wealth Gap Destroys Mobility, Deepens the Racial Divide, and Threatens Our Future by Thomas M. Shapiro (Mar. 14, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-0-465-04693-5) argues that wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities—a dangerous combination he terms “toxic inequality.”
“You’re in the Wrong Bathroom!” And 20 Other Myths and Misconceptions About Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People by Laura Erickson-Schroth and Laura A. Jacobs (May 30, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-8070-3389-0). Despite extensive media coverage, much misinformation about the trans community persists. This book seeks to debunk the most common myths and misperceptions about transgender issues, bringing together the medical, social, psychological, and political aspects of being transgender today in the United States.
Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics by Marjorie J. Spruill (Feb. 28, hardcover, $32, ISBN 978-1-63286-314-0). Forty years ago, two women’s movements drew a line in the sand between liberals and conservatives. The legacy of that rift is still evident today in American politics and social policies, Spruill argues.
The Exile by Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark (May 23, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-62040-984-8) is the untold story of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the years since 9/11—a stunning journey inside the world’s foremost terrorist organization, through the authors’ unique access to bin Laden’s closest allies, including his four wives and many children, his deputies, and former radicals, spies, and military officers.
How Liberty Can Change the World by Gary E. Johnson (June 13, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-266942-1). Libertarian Party presidential nominee Johnson uses his ringside seat as a presidential candidate to shed light on the coming collapse of the two-party system—and why he believes that Libertarianism is swiftly becoming the center of American politics. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Beyond Snowden: Privacy, Mass Surveillance, and the Struggle to Reform the NSA by Timothy H. Edgar (May 30, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-0-8157-3063-7). A longtime civil liberties activist who worked inside the intelligence community for six years during the Bush and Obama administrations argues that the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs are a profound threat to the privacy of everyone in the world, and he urges reform. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It by Richard V. Reeves (June 13, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-0-8157-2912-9). While it’s conventional wisdom to focus on the excesses of the top 1%, Reeves argues that the widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else. 15,000-copy announced first printing.
Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? by Mumia Abu-Jamal (June 6, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-738-3) collects Abu-Jamal’s radio commentaries, which powerfully indicts the history of police violence against people of color, from slavery to today’s Black Lives Matter movement.
White Lies Matter: Race, Crime and the Politics of Fear by Tim Wise (June 20, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-740-6) offers a framework for understanding the politics of black outrage—and the subsequent white backlash against urgent calls for justice and racial equality. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency by Chris Whipple (Apr. 4, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8041-3824-6). The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how the American presidency has hinged on the effectiveness of the White House chiefs of staff is based on extensive, intimate interviews with all 20 living chiefs of staff and two former presidents.
Turning Point: Reclaiming an America We Can Believe In by K.T. McFarland (Apr. 25, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-451-49677-5). Using stories and lessons from her impressive foreign policy career, the Fox News contributor and newly appointed deputy national security advisor outlines how America can reassert its position as a global leader.
The Unholy Trinity: Blocking the Left’s Assault on Life, Marriage, and Gender by Matt Walsh (Mar. 14, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-451-49505-1), the blogger at the Blaze, claims that the liberal battle to “redefine” life, marriage, and gender is fundamentally corrupting American culture.
Post Grad: Five Women and Their First Year Out of the Ivy League by Caroline Kitchener (Apr. 11, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242949-0). A contributor to the Atlantic and the Guardian, and a recent Princeton graduate, Kitchener weaves together her experiences from her first year after college with those of four of her peers in order to delve more deeply into what the world now offers a female college graduate. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes by Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy (July 25, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-248802-2). Two former White House national security veterans reveal insider views of previous disasters, chilling insights on today’s threats to mankind, and a prescription to protect us going forward. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra (Feb. 7, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-27478-8) explores how botched experiments in nation-building, democracy, industrialization, and urbanization are affecting the world, from American mass shootings to the rise of ISIS, Trump, Modi, and racism and misogyny on social media.
Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State by Michael R. Gordon (Apr. 11, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27989-9). With extraordinary access to the White House, the intelligence community, the State Department, and the Pentagon, Gordon, a New York Times national security correspondent, tells the inside story of the U.S. war against the Islamic State.
Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr. (Apr. 18, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-18997-6). Drawing on his work as a public defender and focusing on Washington, D.C., Forman offers a compelling, original view of our justice system, as well as a moving portrait of the human beings caught in its coils.
No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America by Ron Powers (Mar. 21, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-34117-2). The New York Times bestselling author offers a fast-paced, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness, paired with the deeply personal story of his son Kevin, who suffered from schizophrenia and took his life in 2008. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy by Doug Wead (Feb. 21, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4789-2142-4). An analysis of Hillary Clinton’s shocking loss and how Trump, against all odds, won the presidency.
Trump’s War: The Fight to Make America First Again by Michael Savage (Mar. 14, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4789-7667-7). Conservative radio personality Savage, an early and vocal Trump supporter, presents Trump’s challenge in delivering on the promises he made to American voters.
Democracy: The Long Road to Freedom by Condoleezza Rice (May 2, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-4555-4018-1). The former secretary of state and bestselling author shares insights from her background as a policymaker, scholar, and citizen, in an effort to put democracy’s challenges into perspective. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote by Sharyl Attkisson (May 2, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-246816-1). Ever wonder how politics turned into a take-no-prisoners blood sport? Journalist Attkisson pulls back the curtain on the shady world of opposition research. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus by Laura Kipnis (Apr. 4, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265786-2). The feminist cultural critic argues that the growing sense of sexual danger sweeping American campuses doesn’t empower women, but impedes the fight for gender equality. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America by Nathaniel Frank (Apr. 24, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-73722-8) tells the dramatic story of how an idea that once seemed unfathomable—and for many gays and lesbians undesirable—became a legal and moral right in just half a century.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap by Graham Allison (May 30, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-544-93527-3). Harvard scholar Allison explains how America and China could slide into war, against their intent and better judgment. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power by Howard W. French (Mar. 14, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-385-35332-8). From the former New York Times Asia correspondent comes an incisive investigation of China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.
The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap by Gish Jen (Feb. 28, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-101-94782-1) is a provocative and important study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business.
Why I Am Not a Feminist: A Feminist Manifesto by Jessa Crispin (Feb. 21, trade paper, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-61219-601-5). Outspoken critic Crispin delivers a searing rejection of contemporary feminism and a bracing manifesto for revolution that accuses the feminist movement of obliviousness, irrelevance, and cowardice.
The Only Language They Understand: Forcing Compromise in Israel and Palestine by Nathan Thrall (Apr. 18, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-62779-709-2). In a myth-busting analysis of the world’s most intractable conflict, a star of Middle East reporting argues that only one weapon has yielded progress: confrontation.
Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy by Sheldon Whitehouse, with Melanie Wachtell Stinnett (Feb. 21, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-62097-207-6). U.S. Senator and former federal prosecutor Whitehouse offers an eye-opening take on what corporate influence looks like today, from the Senate floor. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
New York Univ.
We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold (June 2, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-4798-5759-3) explores what identity means in an algorithmic age: how data works, how our lives are controlled by it, and how we can resist it.
Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State by Ali Soufan (May 2, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24117-4). When Osama bin Laden was killed by a U.S. Navy SEAL, many prophesied al-Qaeda’s imminent demise. In reality, its ideas have spread. Soufan offers a compelling, definitive account of how and why bin Laden’s ideology keeps rising from the dead.
A Colony in a Nation by Chris Hayes (Mar. 21, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-25422-8). Emmy Award–winning news anchor and bestselling author Hayes argues that there are really two Americas: a colony and a nation.
The Making of Black Lives Matter: A Brief History of an Idea by Christopher J. Lebron (June 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-19-060134-8) traces, in a condensed, accessible intellectual history, the genesis of the ideas that have built into the Black Lives Matter movement.
Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism by Camille Paglia (Mar. 14, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-375-42477-9). The fiery intellectual provocateur collects essays that both celebrate and challenge modern feminism.
Democrazy: A True Story of Weird Politics and Fancy Finger Food by Trey Radel (Mar. 7, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-7352-1072-1). Primary Colors meets This Town in this brutally honest, outrageous, funny, and irreverent memoir by former GOP congressman Trey Radel, who was famously arrested for attempting to buy cocaine from an undercover cop.
An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal (Apr. 11, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-59420-675-7). An award-winning New York Times reporter, Dr. Rosenthal reveals the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, and tells us exactly what we can do to solve its myriad problems.
Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State by Barton Gellman (June 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-59420-601-6). The three-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author proposes the first master narrative of the surveillance state that emerged after 9/11.
The Dark Web: The War for Cyberspace by Alexander Klimburg (July 11, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-59420-666-5). A leading thinker on cybersecurity offers an eye-opening look at one of the most urgent but least understood conflicts the world will confront in the 21st century: the desire of nations to dominate cyberspace.
#Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass R. Sunstein (Mar. 28, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17551-5) explores how, as the Internet grows more sophisticated, it is creating new threats to democracy, as social media companies such as Facebook can sort us ever more efficiently into groups of like-minded people, creating echo chambers that only amplify our views.
Rotten to the Core: A Congressman Exposes How Washington Corruption Is Worse than You Think by Ken Buck (Apr. 24, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-62157-638-9). GOP Congressman Buck reveals the real-life House of Cards going on behind the scenes in our nation’s capital, arguing that Republicans and Democrats actually work together all too well when it comes to fleecing taxpayers. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
A $500 House in Detroit: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home and an American City by Drew Philp (Apr. 11, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4767-9798-4). A young writer buys a ruined house in Detroit for $500, fixes it up nail by nail, and, in the process, participates in the grassroots rebirth of the city itself.
The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, Twelve Young Americans, and What History Leaves Unsaid by Will Bardenwerper (June 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-1783-1) relates the bizarre tale of 12 young soldiers deployed to Iraq expecting to face the enemy in combat, but find themselves protecting the enemy’s most infamous and fearsome leader—Saddam Hussein—in the months before his death.
American Corporate Conspiracies: How Big Business Hijacked Our Democracy by David Wayne (Apr. 4, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-1126-6) exposes the ways that a capitalist regime keeps Americans under its thumb—from the mainstream media and its control over us to the trillions stolen by big banks and mortgage companies during the mortgage crisis, and the scams perpetrated by Big Oil and Big Pharma. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson (Apr. 4, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-250-13599-5). One of America’s leading black voices speaks out honestly and provocatively as the country grapples with racial injustice, anguish, and anger at a level not seen since the 1960s.
Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield (May 30, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-78478-043-2) introduces a field manual to the technologies that are changing our lives at bewildering speed, from 3-D printing to fiendishly complex algorithmic systems that are reshaping the economy, transforming the fundamental terms of our politics, and even beginning to eat away at what it means to be human.
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne (May 2, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-42981-4) advances a timely examination by a leading social scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality, and the measures people can take to lessen the harm done by inequality in their own lives.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by Nancy MacLean (July 11, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-101-98096-5). In this explosive exposé, award-winning historian MacLean reveals how the Radical Right has sought to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance in America.
All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the Twenty-First Century and the Future of American Power by Thomas Wright (May 23, hardcover, $27.50, ISBN 978-0-300-22328-6). What will great power competition look like in the decades ahead? Will the liberal world order survive? Wright offers a fascinating look at the future of post–Cold War power competition in an age of globalization.
Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy by Trita Parsi (Apr. 18, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-300-21816-9). In the definitive book on the historic nuclear deal with Iran, Parsi contends that President Obama’s deeply considered strategy toward Iran’s nuclear program accomplished two major feats in one stroke: it averted the threat of war with Iran and prevented the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb.