From the left and right, this fall’s politics books look at the challenges facing our democracy, including race relations, technology, free speech, journalism, our frayed civic discourse, and what the Trump presidency portends.
How the Right Lost Its Mind
Charles J. Sykes. St. Martin’s, Oct. 3
The former Wisconsin conservative talk radio host turned MSNBC contributor offers his take on the Republican Party.
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street
Matt Taibbi. Random/Spiegel & Grau, Oct. 24
The Rolling Stone writer explores the roots and aftermath of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the police on July 17, 2014, in New York City.
Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials
Malcolm Harris. Little, Brown, Nov. 7
A millennial offers an insightful look into why his generation, the most educated in American history, is economically worse off than its parents.
The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
Mark K. Updegrove. HarperCollins, Nov. 7
A portrait of the relationship between father and son—and an elegy for their Republican Party.
Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics
Lawrence O’Donnell. Penguin Press, Nov. 7
The MSNBC host recounts the presidential election that created American politics as we know it today.
Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education
John Palfrey. MIT, Sept. 22
Trigger warnings, microaggressions, and the disinvitation of speakers—Palfrey argues the strength of our democracy depends on a commitment to upholding both diversity and free expression.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Katy Tur. Morrow/Dey Street, Sept. 12
Tur was one of the cadre of reporters on the road during the grueling 2016 presidential campaign taking fire from Donald Trump.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy
Ta-Nehisi Coates. Random/One World, Oct. 3
The 2016 National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me offers essays that look back at the Obama era, and forward to what’s coming next.
What Unites Us
Dan Rather. Algonquin, Nov. 7
The veteran journalist seeks to inspire an urgent national conversation around America’s common values.
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech
Franklin Foer. Penguin Press, Sept. 12
The former New Republic editor delivers a polemic against today’s technology companies and their desire to access every facet of our identities.
Politics & Current Events Listings
What Unites Us by Dan Rather (Nov. 7, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-782-3). In his famously plainspoken voice, veteran journalist and anchorman Rather seeks to inspire an urgent national conversation around America’s common values.
Periods Gone Public: Making a Stand for Menstrual Equity by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf (Oct. 10, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62872-797-5). The woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
The Rise of the Outsiders: How Mainstream Politics Lost Its Way by Steve Richards (Sept. 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-78649-201-2). Political journalist Richards explores how—and if—the mainstream can regain voters’ trust.
How to Fix the Future by Andrew Keen (Jan. 2, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-8021-2664-1). Powerfully argued and engaging, Keen’s book offers hope that many of the major problems brought on by digital upheaval—including economic inequality, unemployment, cultural and privacy issues, and individual alienation—are solvable.
iGen: The 10 Trends Shaping Today’s Young People—and the Nation by Jean M. Twenge (Aug. 22, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-5198-9) is an entertaining look at how today’s members of iGen—the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later—are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors.
Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together by Van Jones (Oct. 10, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-18002-6). The CNN political contributor and host issues a call for a deeper patriotism wise enough to reject binaries and honestly face America’s complicated truths.
The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America’s Highest Office by Jeremi Suri (Sept. 12, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-465-05173-1) traces America’s disenchantment with our recent presidents, revealing some of the fault lines for those trying to understand America’s fraught political climate. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
Reinventing America’s Schools: Creating a 21st-Century Education System by David Osborne (Sept. 5, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-63286-991-3). An expert on public sector reform analyzes the charter school movement and presents a comprehensive plan for revitalizing American education.
Videocracy by Kevin Allocca (Jan. 23, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-63286-674-5). YouTube’s head of culture and trends offers an illuminating examination of internet video—the largest collection of cultural data ever—and what it reveals about our changing world.
Words That Matter: How the News and Social Media Shaped the 2016 Presidential Campaign by Leticia Bode et al (Jan. 30, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-8157-3191-7). The editor-in-chief of Gallup and seven academics look at how the news media covered the 2016 election and, more importantly, what information—true, false, or somewhere in between—actually helped voters make up their minds.
Making Sense of the Alt-Right by George Hawley (Sept. 19, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-231-18512-7) provides an accessible introduction to the emergent “alt-right” movement, giving vital perspective on a group whose overt racism has confounded expectations for a more tolerant America.
The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage by Jared Yates Sexton (Sept. 12, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-61902-956-9). Journalist Sexton draws upon his experience covering the Trump campaign in this examination of the often savage 2016 presidential race.
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markham (Sept. 12, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-90618-7) follows the 17-year-old Flores twins as they make their harrowing journey across the border, into the hands of immigration authorities, and into their estranged older brother’s custody in this investigation of the migrant experience.
The American Era: Crisis, Stress, and Triumph in the Twenty-First Century by George Friedman (Jan. 9, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54049-0). The bestselling author takes a shot at predicting that the 2020s will bring a dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.
Bloodlines: The True Story of a Drug Cartel, the FBI, and the Battle for a Horse-Racing Dynasty by Melissa del Bosque (Nov. 14, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244848-4) offers a suspenseful account of two young FBI agents in pursuit of a drug cartel’s most fearsome leader, Miguel Treviño, and the American racing dynasty he built on extortion and blood money. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State by Michael R. Gordon (Sept. 26, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-27989-9). The New York Times national security correspondent offers an inside-the-Beltway history of the U.S. fight against ISIS.
Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen (Aug. 15, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-28004-8) tells how she left her job as a journalist in New York after 9/11, moved to Istanbul, and discovered America.
Harpoon: Inside the Covert War Against Terrorism’s Money Masters by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Samuel M. Katz (Nov. 7, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-39905-0) reveals how Harpoon—the Israeli special unit founded to disrupt terrorist groups’ finances—has worked to choke off the terrorists’ money supply via unconventional warfare. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo (Oct. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-38293-9). New Yorker staff writer Okeowo gives a vivid narrative of Africans who are courageously resisting their continent’s wave of fundamentalism. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Rally Point: Five Tasks to Unite the Country and Revitalize the American Dream by Chris Gibson (Oct. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5387-6058-1) frankly analyzes the current political environment for Americans looking to navigate the nation’s challenging political environment. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
The Great Gasbag: An A–Z Study Guide to Surviving Trump World by Joy Behar (Oct. 24, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-269934-3). The popular comedian and outspoken star of The View offers a humorous, alphabetical guide to the rise of Donald Trump. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Hunting El Chapo: The Thrilling Inside Story of the American Lawman Who Captured the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord by Cole Merrell and Douglas Century (Oct. 17, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-266308-5). A blend of Manhunt, Killing Pablo, and Zero Dark Thirty, Merrell and Century’s sensational investigative high-tech thriller chronicles one of the most compelling dramas of the drug wars. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush by Mark K. Updegrove (Nov. 7, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-265412-0). An intimate portrait of the relationship between George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush is also an elegy of sorts for a Republican Party that has been transformed in the Trump era. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between by Linda Greenhouse (Oct. 30, hardcover, $22.95, ISBN 978-0-674-98033-4). The Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter trains an autobiographical lens on a moment of remarkable transition in American journalism.
The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison (Sept. 18, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-674-97645-0). America’s foremost novelist reflects on the themes that preoccupy her work and increasingly dominate national and world politics: race, fear, borders, the mass movement of peoples, the desire for belonging.
Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities by Daniel Golden (Oct. 10, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-62779-635-4). A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist exposes how academia has become the center of foreign and domestic espionage—and why that is troubling news for our nation’s security.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Garden of the Lost and Abandoned: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Woman and the Children She Saves by Jessica Yu (Nov. 7, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-544-61706-3) features the fascinating and joyful story of Gladys Kalibbala, a Ugandan “orphan sleuth,” who works to connect missing and castaway children to their families. 30,000-copy announced first printing.
Future War: Preparing for the New Global Battlefield by Robert H. Latiff (Sept. 26, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-101-94760-9) examines how technology will change virtually every aspect of war as we know it and how we can respond to the serious national security challenges ahead.
Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris (Nov. 7, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-316-51086-8). Blowing away stereotypes, this millennial offers a look into why his generation, the most educated in American history, is economically worse off than its parents, and examines broad trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more.
Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education by John Palfrey (Sept. 22, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-262-03714-3). Amid the trend of safe spaces, trigger warnings, microaggressions, the disinvitation of speakers, and demands to rename campus landmarks, Palfrey argues the strength of our democracy depends on a commitment to upholding both diversity and free expression, especially when it is hardest to do so.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur (Sept. 12, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-268492-9). One of the cadre of NBC reporters on the road during the grueling 2016 presidential campaign, Tur covered Donald Trump and took fire from him. 200,000-copy announced first printing.
Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy by Sasha Polakow-Suransky (Oct. 17, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-56858-592-5). From the surprising Brexit vote to banning burkinis in France and building walls along the Mexican border, a wave of xenophobia and right-wing rhetoric is overpowering public discourse throughout Europe, the United States, and beyond. Can Western democracy survive? 12,000-copy announced first printing.
The Ghosts of Langley: Into the CIA’s Heart of Darkness by John Prados (Nov. 7, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-62097-088-1). Drawing on a wealth of newly declassified documents, Prados, a historian of intelligence, sheds light on classic agency operations; published to tie in with the 70th anniversary of the CIA’s founding. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
The Know-It-Alls: The Rise of Silicon Valley as a Political Powerhouse and Social Wrecking Ball by Noam Cohen (Nov. 7, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-62097-210-6). The former New York Times technology columnist chronicles the rise of Silicon Valley as a political and intellectual force in American life. 12,500-copy announced first printing.
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder (Sept. 26, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24931-6) investigates the economy’s dark underbelly and the extraordinary resilience, creativity, and hope of hardworking, quintessential Americans, as Bruder explores the new realities facing the American workforce.
This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm by Ted Genoways (Sept. 19, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-29257-2). Is there still a place for the farm in today’s America? Genoways explores the rapidly changing world of small, traditional farming in this nuanced portrait of one family’s fight to preserve their legacy and the life they love.
Black Site: The CIA in the Post-9/11 World by Philip Mudd (Jan. 9, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-63149-197-9). Mudd, a former CIA senior official, presents a never-before-told account of 9/11 that illuminates the profound toll on those who administered the enhanced interrogation techniques and other initiatives known internally as “the Program.”
Assembly by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (Sept. 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-19-067796-1). As leaderless social movements proliferate around the globe, this book examines how current large-scale horizontal movements can develop the capacities for political strategy and decision-making to bring about lasting and democratic change.
Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell (Nov. 7, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-56314-0). The MSNBC host offers an account of the presidential election that changed everything and created American politics as we know it today.
World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech by Franklin Foer (Sept. 12, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-101-98111-5). The former New Republic editor delivers a blistering and personal polemic against today’s monolithic technology companies and their desire to access every facet of our identities and influence every corner of our lives.
You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody) by Alec Baldwin and Kurt Andersen (Nov. 7, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-0-525-52199-0). Political satire as deeper truth: a comic vision of Trump’s presidential memoir.
Trump Is F*cking Crazy: (This Is Not a Joke) by Keith Olbermann (Oct. 24, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-53386-3). Olbermann’s acerbic commentaries are adapted from his hit GQ video series The Resistance.
Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America by John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck (Jan. 16, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17419-8). How did he pull it off? Was it his appeal to alienated voters in the battleground states? Was it Hillary Clinton and the scandals associated with her long career in politics? This in-depth account of the 2016 presidential election seeks to explain Donald Trump’s historic victory.
Armed in America: A History of Gun Rights from Colonial Militias to Concealed Carry by Patrick J. Charles (Jan. 2, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-63388-313-0). Historian and legal scholar Charles shows that what the right to bear arms means to Americans, as well as what it legally protects, has changed dramatically since its first appearance in the 1689 colonial Declaration of Rights.
Greater than Ever: New York’s Big Comeback by Daniel Doctor off (Sept. 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-61039-607-3). The former deputy mayor of New York City tells the story of the city’s comeback after 9/11, offering lessons in resiliency under the most trying of circumstances, and a model for the rejuvenation of any city. 20,000-copy announced first printing.
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Oct. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-59056-6). The National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me collects new essays that look back at the Obama era and then forward to what’s coming next, as well as newly annotated Atlantic articles that have never been published in book form.
Random/Spiegel & Grau
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street by Matt Taibbi (Oct. 24, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-8884-0). Bestselling author Taibbi explores the roots and aftermath of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the police on July 17, 2014, in New York City.
No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to America by Raheem Kassam (Aug. 14, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-62157-680-8). Are “No Go Zones”—neighborhoods in the United States and Europe where Sharia law reigns and police are unwelcome—a myth? Kassam, editor-in-chief of Breitbart London, wants you to think they are not. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win by Sebastian Gorka (Sept. 11, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-62157-640-2). A look at American security from Gorka, a controversial former deputy assistant to President Trump. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen (Oct. 3, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-59463-453-6). Putin’s bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible strain of autocracy.
The Newcomers: Learning a New Language and Making a New Home in a Place Called America by Helen Thorpe (Nov. 14, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-5909-1) follows the lives of 22 immigrant teenagers through the 2015–2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, in an English Language Acquisition class created specifically for them.
Simon & Schuster
The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs by Ed Asner and Ed Weinberger (Oct. 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-6602-0). Asner, a self-proclaimed dauntless Democrat from the old days, leads the charge for liberals to reclaim the Constitution from the right-wingers who think that they and only they know how to interpret it.
The Selfie Generation: How Our Self Images Are Changing Our Notions of Privacy, Sex, Consent, and Culture by Alicia Eler (Nov. 7, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-2264-4) delves into the selfie—the ubiquitous and much-maligned social media trend, including why people take them in the first place and the ways they can change how we see ourselves. 10,000-copy announced first printing.
Shame Nation: The Global Epidemic of Online Hate by Sue Scheff and Melissa Schorr (Oct. 1, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-4899-4) examines how the rise in online shaming is affecting our way of life, stripping society of both compassion and privacy, and how we can push back against our culture’s growing lack of empathy and common sense.
Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populists vs. The Establishment from Reagan to Trump by Laura Ingraham (Oct. 10, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-15064-6). The conservative radio host offers her take on Donald Trump’s surprising ascent to the White House.
How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J. Sykes (Oct. 3, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-14717-2). The former Wisconsin conservative talk radio host turned MSNBC contributor offers his view of the implosion of the Republican Party, and the wider conservative movement under Trump.
One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported by E.J. Dionne Jr., Norman Ornstein, and Thomas Mann (Sept. 19, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-16405-6) is a call to action from three of Washington’s premier political scholar-journalists, offering the definitive work on the threat to our democracy posed by the Trump presidency and how to counter it.
Univ. of California
Blind Injustice: A Former Prosecutor Exposes the Psychology and Politics of Wrongful Convictions by Mark Godsey (Oct. 10, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-520-28795-2). In this view from the trenches, a prosecutor turned champion for the innocent shows how innate psychological flaws and the “tough on crime” political environment can lead to the conviction of innocent people.
Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump by David Neiwert (Oct. 17, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-78663-423-8) examines the remarkable resurgence of right-wing extremists in the United States, nurtured by a powerful right-wing media sector with surprisingly close ties to Trump.
Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century by Richard McGregor (Sept. 5, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-56267-9). With his many years of experience as the Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, McGregor reveals the issues that will be a key focus and challenge for American foreign policy in the coming decades.
King of Spies: The Dark Reign and Ruin of an American Spymaster by Blaine Harden (Oct. 3, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-42993-7) features the untold story of one of the most powerful spies in American history, shedding new light on the U.S. role in the Korean War and its legacy.