The first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration is coming up, and this spring’s politics books focus on America’s destructive political climate, income inequality, systemic issues within our democracy, and Russia.
The Death of Truth
Michiko Kakutani. Crown/Duggan, July 17
The former New York Times book critic offers a provocative diagnosis of our fractured, truth-challenged times.
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn
Chris Hughes. St. Martin’s, Feb. 20
Facebook cofounder Hughes argues that the wealthy should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: give working people money, no strings attached.
From Cold War to Hot Peace: The Inside Story of Russia and America
Michael McFaul. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, May 8
A leading scholar and U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration delivers an inside account of U.S.–Russia relations.
The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy
Anna Clark. Metropolitan, May 22
The first full account of the Flint, Mich., water scandal, from an award-winning Michigan journalist who covered the story from the beginning.
Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations
Amy Chua. Penguin Press, Feb. 20
The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother presents her prescription for overcoming destructive political tribalism.
The Russian Connection: The Inside Story of How Vladimir Putin Attacked a U.S. Election and Shaped the Trump Presidency
Michael Isikoff and David Corn. Hachette/Twelve, Mar. 6
The veteran journalists recount how Putin hacked an American election as part of a covert operation to subvert U.S. democracy.
Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America
Alissa Quart. Ecco, June 1
Quart examines the lives of middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children in an economy that holds too few options.
The Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy
Jonah Goldberg. Crown/Forum, Apr. 24
The National Review senior editor argues that America and other democracies must actively fight a resurgence of the nationalist ideologies of the past.
Uncensored: Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America
Zachary Wood. Dutton, June 19
Wood, president of the student group Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, shares his perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions.
The Unmaking of the President 2016: The Case Against FBI Director James Comey and How He Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency
Lanny J. Davis. Scribner, Feb. 6
Davis, a longtime Washington insider, argues there was one determining factor that threw the election to Donald Trump: FBI director James Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress.
Politics & Current Events
The New Farm: Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution by Brent Preston (Mar. 13, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4197-3108-2). In this memoir, Preston reveals how his small, sustainable, organic farm became an engine for change and a model for a more just and sustainable food system.
The Terrorist Factory: Isis, the Yazidi Genocide, and Exporting Terror by
Patrick Desbois and Costel Nastasie (Apr. 3, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62872-946-7) is a behind-the-scenes look at the Yazidi genocide and the terrorist threat it holds, based on work first shown on 60 Minutes.
Collapsing Freedom by Michael Chertoff (July 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2793-8). The former U.S. Homeland Security chief argues that data collection and dissemination today are a threat, and that new privacy protections are needed to better balance the needs of government, business, and individuals.
How to Fix the Future by Andrew Keen (Feb. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2664-1) posits that the social problems caused by digital upheaval are solvable, and that the future may yet become something that we can look forward to.
The Fourth Age: Smart Robots, Conscious Computers, and the Future of Humanity by Byron Reese (Apr. 24, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-5011-5856-8) explores the next stage of humanity’s evolution—the age of artificial intelligence and its potentially “species-changing” implications.
To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz (May 22, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5416-4488-5). Two prominent legal minds present an authoritative and timely guide for Americans seeking to understand how the power of impeachment should be exercised.
“We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now”: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck (Feb. 27, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-0-8070-8177-8). The Dartmouth history professor traces the evolution of a new global labor movement sparked and sustained by low-wage workers.
Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us by Amanda Carpenter (May 1, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-274800-3). Trump and his wild accusations have stirred something deep among his supporters, this former staffer for Sen. Ted Cruz writes: a sense of commitment so strong that there is practically nothing Trump could say that would ever drive them away. 25,000-copy announced first printing.
American Nightmare: The Challenge of U.S. Authoritarianism by Henry A. Giroux (May 15, trade paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-0-87286-753-6). According to cultural critic Giroux, the only hope to push back the ominous convergence of white nationalism and elite economic interests is through increased civic investment in multicultural democracy, education, and resistance.
False Report: A True Story of Rape in America by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong (Feb. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-5247-5993-3). Two Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists tell the riveting story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the detectives who followed a winding path to arrive at the truth.
Give People Money by Annie Lowrey (July 24, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5247-5876-9). Imagine if every month the government deposited $1,000 into your checking account, no strings attached. Journalist Lowrey says that such a policy—known as the Universal Basic Income movement—is the way to go. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Death of Truth by Michiko Kakutani (July 17, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-525-57482-8). The former New York Times book critic offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and presents a path forward for our truth-challenged times. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
The Origins of Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, and America by Timothy Snyder (Apr. 10, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-57446-0). The author of On Tyrannyoffers a fascinating new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism in Russia, Europe, and the U.S.
The Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics Is Destroying American Democracy by Jonah Goldberg (Apr. 24, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-101-90493-0). The National Review senior editor and syndicated columnist makes the case that America and other democracies must actively defend liberty against forces working to revive the tribal and nationalistic ideologies of the past. 75,000-copy announced first printing.
Uncensored: Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America by Zachary Wood (June 19, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5247-4244-7). Rooted in his own powerful personal story, 21-year-old Zachary Wood, president of the student group Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, shares his perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America by Alissa Quart (June 1, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-241225-6). The executive editor at the Economic Hardship Reporting Project examines the lives of middle-class Americans who can now barely afford to raise children in an economy that holds too few options.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Amity and Prosperity: The Cost of Fracking in Two American Towns by Eliza Griswold (June 12, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-10311-8). The prize-winning poet and journalist exposes how fracking shattered a rural Pennsylvania town and how one lifelong resident brought the story into the national spotlight.
The Burning Shores: Inside the Battle for the New Libya by Frederic Wehrey (Apr. 17, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-27824-3). The death of Muammar Qaddafi freed Libya, but ignited bitter rivalries and civil war, leading to the Islamic State and a catastrophic migrant crisis. In a narrative that blends frontline reporting, analysis, and history, Wehrey tells what went wrong.
Keep Marching: How Every Woman Can Take Action and Change Our World by Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner (Mar. 13, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-316-51556-6). The CEO of MomsRising and one of the contributing authors of the Unity Principles examines the societal, institutional, and political barriers that women historically and currently face, and how they can be dismantled. All proceeds will be donated to MomsRising.
The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Yang (May 22, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-41424-1). The founder of Venture for America argues that the shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment, and outlines the urgent steps America must take (including Universal Basic Income) to stabilize the economy.
The Russian Connection: The Inside Story of How Vladimir Putin Attacked a U.S. Election and Shaped the Trump Presidency by Michael Isikoff and David Corn (Mar. 6, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5387-2875-8) features rhe incredible account of how Putin hacked an American election as part of a covert operation to subvert U.S. democracy and help Donald Trump gain the presidency.
Fascism by Madeleine Albright (Apr. 10, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-280218-7). The former secretary of state and U.N. ambassador offers a personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism today and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom. 150,000-copy announced first printing.
Messing with the Enemy by Clint Watts (Mar. 27, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-279598-4). A former FBI Special Agent and leading cyber-security expert surveys the misinformation campaigns, fake news, and electronic espionage operations that have become the cutting edge of modern warfare. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
Rules for Rulebreakers: A Pussy Riot Guide to Revolution by Nadya Tolokonnikova (Mar. 6, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-0-06-274158-5). Tolokonnikova, an artist, activist, and a Pussy Riot founder, offers a guerrilla guide to radical protest and joyful political resistance.
Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay (May 1, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-06-241351-2). Bestselling author Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face and are bullied for speaking out. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The People vs. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It by Yascha Mounk (Mar. 5, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-674-97682-5). Drawing on vivid stories and original research, scholar and pundit Mounk identifies three key drivers of voters’ discontent: stagnating living standards, fears of multiethnic democracy, and the rise of social media, and argues that we may be running out of chances to save democracy.
Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West by James Pogue (May 22, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-250-16912-9) takes an inside look at America’s militia movement, showing a country at the crossroads of class, culture, and insurrection; based on Pogue’s interactions with Ammon Bundy and the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.
Inside Job: How American Elections Are Still Rigged Against Voters by Steven Rosenfeld (Feb. 6, hardcover, $21.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-2945-2) is an impassioned takedown of the undemocratic features of American electoral politics and their role in the 2016 election.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
China’s Great Wall of Debt: Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinese Miracle by Dinny McMahon (Mar. 13, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-328-84601-3). While the world sees China as a booming economic power, McMahon thinks otherwise: China’s perceived economic growth is built on a staggering mountain of debt. 40,000-copy announced first printing.
From Cold War to Hot Peace: The Inside Story of Russia and America by Michael McFaul (May 8, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-544-71624-7). One of America’s leading scholars of Russia who served as U.S. ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration offers an inside account of U.S.-Russia relations from 1989 to the present. 35,000-copy announced first printing.
Twenty Years of Life: Why the Poor Die Earlier and How to Challenge Inequity by Suzanne Bohan (Apr. 19, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-61091-801-5). Journalist Bohan exposes the ugly truth that health is largely determined by zip code, with life expectancies in wealthy versus poor neighborhoods varying by as much as 20 years.
Johns Hopkins Univ.
Common Core: National Education Standards and the Threat to Democracy by Nicholas Tampio (Mar. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-4214-2463-7). Fordham political science professor Tampio argues that, though national standards can raise the education bar for some students, the democratic costs outweigh the benefits.
Assad, or We Burn the Country: How One Family’s Lust for Power Destroyed Syria by Sam Dagher (June 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-55672-9). Journalist Dagher’s account of the destruction of Syria from inside the palace of President Bashar al-Assad offers a new way of understanding the conflict that has engulfed the Middle East and pitted the United States against Russia.
The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark (May 22, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-250-12514-9). The first full account of the Flint, Mich., water scandal, an American tragedy, presents new details from an award-winning Michigan journalist who has covered the story from its beginnings.
Can It Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America, edited by Cass R. Sunstein (Mar. 6, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-06-269619-9). The Harvard professor and bestselling author collects diverse perspectives on timely questions and more in this volume of essays from distinguished contributors and influencers.
Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America by Vegas Tenold (Feb. 20, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-56858-994-7). Tenold, who has reported from the inner circle of three white power groups in America, charts how the movements have gone from small, disorganized groups outside the mainstream to open displays at rallies in Charlottesville, Va.; Berkeley, Calif.; and Boston.
After the Education Wars: How Smart Schools Upend the Business of Reform by Andrea Gabor (Feb. 6, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-62097-199-4). Gabor makes the case for seeking education-reform solutions through a collaborative, grassroots approach—modeled in part on the open-source software movement.
Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law by Sherrilyn Ifill et al. (Mar. 6, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-395-0) delivers a discussion of race in America today from leading thinkers, including Bryan Stevenson, the bestselling author of Just Mercy, and Loretta Lynch, the former attorney general of the United States.
Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship by Bruce W. Jentleson (Apr. 24, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24956-9) shows how key figures in the previous century, including Gandhi, Yitzhak Rabin, and Dag Hammarskjold rsuccessfully prevented conflict, advanced human rights, and promoted global sustainability.
Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship by Nadine Strossen (May 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-19-085912-1). A former head of the ACLU clears up the many misunderstandings that have clouded the debates about “hate speech vs. free speech,” arguing that an expansive approach to the First Amendment is most effective at promoting democracy, equality, and social harmony.
Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001–2016 by Steve Coll (Feb. 6, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-1-59420-458-6). The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist tells for the first time the epic story of America’s intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11.
Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business and Everything Else by Ken Auletta (June 5, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-7352-2086-7) examines the changes buffeting the $2 trillion global advertising and marketing business and its impact on, among other industries, the media.
Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations by Amy Chua (Feb. 20, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-56285-3). The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Yale Law School professor supplies a new prescription for reversing America’s foreign policy failures and overcoming destructive political tribalism.
Sh*tshow by Charlie LeDuff (May 22, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-525-52202-7) furnishes a firsthand account of crisis in America, from Ferguson to Flint, from Cliven Bundy’s ranch to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, from the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author of [em]Detroit: An American Autopsy.
Insurgent Supremacists: The U.S. Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire by Matthew N. Lyons (Apr. 1, trade paper, $22.95, ISBN 978-1-62963-511-8) takes readers on a tour of the American right wing, concluding with an analysis of the Trump administration’s relationship with far-right politics and the organized far right’s shifting responses to Trump.
The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America by Robert Wuthnow (Feb. 27, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-691-17766-3). Why did rural Americans vote overwhelmingly for Donald Trump? Princeton sociologist Wuthnow brings readers into America’s small towns, farms, and rural communities to paint a portrait of this critical segment of the nation.
Vanishing Frontiers: The Irresistible Forces Transforming Mexico and America by Andrew Selee (June 5, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-61039-859-6). Many believe that Mexico and the U.S. are about as different as can be, but Selee shows that the demographics, economics, politics, and culture of these two countries have much in common.
The Return of Marco Polo’s World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century by Robert D. Kaplan (Mar. 20, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8129-9679-1). A sobering assessment of U.S. foreign policy over the past two decades is anchored by a major new essay commissioned by the Pentagon about changing power dynamics among China, Eurasia, and America from the bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography.
Donald Trump: The Man and His Hour by Conrad Black (May 14, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-62157-787-4). The bestselling author of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom and Richard M. Nixon: A Life in Full turns his attention to President Trump.
Rowman & Littlefield
Backlash: What Happens When We Talk Honestly about Racism in America by George Yancy (Apr. 15, hardcover, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-5381-0405-7) follows up on Yancy’s New York Times op-ed entitled “Dear White America,” which asked white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism. Yancy expands upon the original article and chronicles the ensuing controversy.
The Age of Walls by Tim Marshall (Feb. 20, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-8390-4). The bestselling author of Prisoners of Geography analyzes urgent topics in global politics and international relations by examining the borders, walls, and boundaries that divide countries and their populations.
The Unmaking of the President 2016: The Case Against FBI Director James Comey and How He Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency by Lanny J. Davis (Feb. 6, hardcover, $24, ISBN 978-1-5011-7772-9). A longtime Washington insider argues that there was one determining factor that threw the election to Donald Trump: FBI Director James Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress.
Simon & Schuster
The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis by Martha C. Nussbaum (July 3, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-7249-6). Scholar and humanist Nussbaum sees a simple truth at the heart of America’s political problems: politics are always emotional. She attempts to untangle the web of feelings behind politics and provide a roadmap of where to go next.
Standoff by Bill Schneider (May 1, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-1-4516-0622-5). Journalist Schneider takes readers inside the voting booth to show how Americans vote and why their votes sometimes seem to make no practical sense.
Our Damaged Democracy: We the People Must Act by Joseph A. Califano Jr. (Feb. 13, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-5011-4461-5) details the changes—political, cultural, constitutional, technological, institutional—that render our government completely dysfunctional, including a concentration of power in the presidency and a Congress crippled by partisanship and dependence on special interest money.
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn by Chris Hughes (Feb. 20, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-250-19659-0). Facebook cofounder Hughes makes the case that one-percenters like him should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: give working people money, no strings attached.
Soul of a Democrat: Recovering the Seven Founding Myths That Can Bring Our Party Back to Power by Thomas Reston (May 29, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-17605-9) features the history of the Democratic Party, offering the successes and failures of its greatest figures, from Thomas Jefferson to Harry Truman, and showing modern Democrats how to craft an approach to politics to again become the party of the people.
How Bernie Won: Inside the Revolution to Take Back Our Country by Jeff Weaver (May 15, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-14475-1) explores how Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign took on the entire establishment and changed modern American politics.
Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump by Asad Haider (Apr. 17, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-78663-737-6) issues an urgent call for alternative visions, languages, and practices against the white identity politics of right-wing populism.
The Great Alignment: Race, Party Transformation, and the Rise of Donald Trump by Alan I. Abramowitz (June 19, hardcover, $35, ISBN 978-0-300-20713-2). The Emory University political scientist believes that our current political divide is not an illusion but a key feature of the American cultural landscape; he explains how this phenomenon paved the way for the Trump presidency and examines why polarization will likely grow deeper.
This article has been updated.