Fall brings tales of WWII, new looks at the Civil War, histories focused on the indigenous peoples of the Americas, and pioneering women lawyers, anthropologists, writers, and animators.
A Castle in Wartime: One Family, Their Missing Sons, and the Fight to Defeat the Nazis
Catherine Bailey. Viking, Oct. 29, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-55929-0
As Bailey recounts, Fey von Hassell had to host SS soldiers occupying her family’s Italian estate while her father and husband went underground to resist the Nazis.
Country Music: An Illustrated History
Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns. Knopf, Sept. 10, $55, ISBN 978-0-525-52054-2
In conjunction with an upcoming PBS series, this history chronicles country music’s evolution from amateur beginnings to massive commercial success. 300,000-copy announced first printing.
The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America
Karen Abbott. Crown, Oct. 8, $28, ISBN 978-0-451-49862-5
Abbott tells the wild true tale of Prohibition-era bootlegger George Remus and his shocking downfall at the hands of a federal agent who was having an affair with his wife.
Gods of the Upper Air: How a Circle of Renegade Anthropologists Reinvented Race, Sex, and Gender in the Twentieth Century
Charles King. Doubleday, Aug. 6, $30, ISBN 978-0-385-54219-7
This intellectual history profiles Franz Boas, the founder of cultural anthropology, and his pathbreaking female students, including Margaret Mead and Zora Neale Hurston.
Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War
S.C. Gwynne. Scribner, Nov. 5, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-1622-3
Gwynne takes a revisionist look at major players of the Civil War, including Ulysses S. Grant and Clara Barton, the nurse who founded the American Red Cross.
The Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women
Mo Moulton. Basic, Nov. 5, $32, ISBN 978-1-5416-4447-2
This group biography follows the crime novelist’s circle of female classmates and friends as they fought for the acknowledgement of women.
One Day: The Extraordinary Story of an Ordinary 24 Hours in America
Gene Weingarten. Blue Rider, Oct. 22, $28, ISBN 978-0-399-16666-2
Pulitzer-winner Weingarten picked a date out of a hat—Dec. 28, 1986—and constructed a panorama of American life on that day.
The Queens of Animation: The Untold Story of the Women Who Transformed the World of Disney and Made Cinematic History
Nathalia Holt. Little, Brown, Sept. 17, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-43915-2
Holt recounts how women worked their way into Disney’s boys’ clubs.
Tehran Children: A Holocaust Refugee Odyssey
Mikhal Dekel. Norton, Oct. 8, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00103-4
Dekel, whose father was one of the thousand Jewish refugee children from Poland who traveled to Iran and then Palestine during the Holocaust, tells the story of the Jewish refuge in Muslim lands.
This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving
David J. Silverman. Bloomsbury, Nov. 5, $30, ISBN 978-1-63286-924-1
Revisionist historian Silverman looks at the 1621 “first Thanksgiving” with a focus on the Wampanoag people and urges Americans to rethink the mythology of Thanksgiving.
Letters from Hollywood: Inside the Private World of Classic American Moviemaking by Rocky Lang and Barbara Hall (Sept. 10, $40, ISBN 978-1-4197-3809-8) reproduces correspondence from early film stars through the 1970s, including Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, and Greta Garbo, with some annotations from authors.
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor (Jan. 7, $35, ISBN 978-1-4197-3817-3) examines the significance of the travel guide for black motorists, which was published from 1936 to 1966 and listed hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and other businesses that would serve black travelers.
Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu by Les Standiford (Nov. 5, $27, ISBN 978-0-8021-2849-2) recounts the history of Palm Beach island from the 1893 arrival of its first developer, Henry Flagler, and of wealthy heirs and socialites who built the residences it is known for today, including El Mirasol and Mar-a-Lago, acquired by Donald Trump in 1985.
The Ship of Dreams: The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era by Gareth Russell (Dec. 3, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-7672-2). Russell recreates the experiences of six first-class passengers during the Titanic’s sinking, using them as a jumping-off point to consider the breakdown in hierarchy that modernity brought to Britain and the U.S.
Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World by Tom Holland (Oct. 29, $32, ISBN 978-0-465-09350-2). A historian of antiquity argues that the advent of Christianity shaped all of Western culture to come.
Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West by H.W. Brands (Oct. 22, $32, ISBN 978-1-5416-7252-9) narrates the settling of the region, including fur trading in the Northwest, gold rushes in California, and revolution in Texas, looking at both the bravery and persistence of the settlers and their violent treatment of indigenous people and one another.
The Anarchy: The Rise and Fall of the East India Company by William Dalrymple (Sept. 10, $30, ISBN 978-1-63557-395-4). Dalrymple follows the East India Company from its 1765 victory over the Mughal emperor, and subsequent replacement of his government with its own, through the 47 years of the company’s colonial rule by shareholders in London.
Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed by David Farber (Sept. 30, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-108-42527-8) identifies the street trade in crack as an outgrowth of late-20th-century capitalism and profiles the users; the disenfranchised, predominantly African-American dealers seeking economic opportunity in a hostile environment; and the law enforcement officials who harshly punished many African-Americans.
Whispers in the Tall Grass by Nick Brokhausen (Oct. 19, $32.95, ISBN 978-1-61200-775-5) recounts the author’s experience during the Vietnam War in one of the Studies and Observations Groups, recon companies that infiltrated enemy territory in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Peace on Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women’s Rights after the First World War by Mona L. Siegel (Jan. 7, $35, ISBN 978-0-231-19510-2) highlights the activism for equality of women all around the world in 1919, including Egyptian and Chinese nationalists, Japanese labor feminists, white Western suffragists, and African-American civil rights activists.
American Radicals: How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation by Holly Jackson (Oct. 8, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-57309-8) explores the stances (on sexual liberation, slavery, nonviolence, veganism, and other issues), work, and sometimes contradictory behavior of the period’s activists, including Martin Delany, William Lloyd Garrison, Marx Lazarus, and Frances Wright.
Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War’s Most Audacious Espionage Operation by Steve Vogel (Sept. 24, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244962-7) digs up the history of Operation Gold, the CIA’s plan to build a tunnel into East Berlin to tap into Soviet military telecommunications—and George Blake, the double agent within the operation. 50,000-copy announced first printing.
The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius[/strong] by Bob Batchelor (Sept. 3, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-63576-586-1) recounts the exploits of big-time bootlegger George Remus, including parties said to be the inspiration for Jay Gatsby’s, bribes for government officials, and the murder of the wife who plotted against him with the government agent who put him in prison.
The Greatest Fury: The Battle for New Orleans and the Rebirth of America by William C. Davis (Oct. 15, $30, ISBN 978-0-399-58522-7) recounts the fight between the British army and the ragtag group of farmers, merchants, pirates, slaves, and Native Americans who held onto control of the city during the War of 1812.
My War Criminal: Encounters with an Architect of Fear by Jessica Stern (Jan. 28, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-088955-5). Stern studies Radovan Karadzˇic´, a Bosnian politician who was indicted for war crimes for his role in the Bosnian war.
We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel by Daniel Gordis (Sept. 24, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-287369-9) looks at the differences between Israel and American Jews in terms of strategies for ensuring a Jewish future, beliefs, and goals.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany’s Winter Campaign, 1941–1942 by David Stahel (Nov. 19, $35, ISBN 978-0-374-24952-6) challenges the accepted narrative of the Soviet winter offensive, arguing that it was a strategic success for Germany rather than the defeat it is commonly believed to be.
The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Ruin by Douglas Smith (Nov. 5, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-25296-0) recounts the 1921 collaboration between the newly formed Soviet government and the American Relief Administration to save Soviet citizens from starvation.
Citizen 865: The Hunt for Hitler’s Hidden Soldiers in America by Debbie Cenziper (Nov. 12, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-44965-6) chronicles the efforts in the 1990s by historians and Department of Justice lawyers to identify and bring down Trawniki men—Red Army soldiers captured by the Nazis and recruited to massacre Jews—hiding in the U.S.
The Force: The Legendary Special Ops Unit and WWII’s Mission Impossible by Saul David (Sept. 3, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-41453-1) tells the tale of an elite group of U.S. and Canadian soldiers who were trained in skiing, rock climbing, and parachuting and then sent to take over a clifftop Nazi stronghold.
A House in the Mountains by Caroline Moorehead (Jan. 28, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-268635-0) introduces Ada, Bianca, Frida, and Silvia, four young Piedmontese women essential to the Italian resistance against the German occupation late in WWII.
Ghetto: The History of a Word by Daniel B. Schwartz (Sept. 24, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-73753-2) investigates the linguistic and historical evolution of the concept of the ghetto from 1516 Venice, where Jews were forcibly segregated, through immigrant communities in New York and Chicago to 20th-century Nazi occupations, and then to an association with African-Americans.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis by Eric Lichtblau (Oct. 15, $28, ISBN 978-1-328-52853-7) details the contributions of Jewish-German Fred Mayer as a spy for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services; he went undercover as a Nazi officer and a French POW, was captured, and then convinced the Nazi commander of the region to surrender.
Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China by Jung Chang (Oct. 29, $30, ISBN 978-0-451-49350-7) recounts the lives of the Soong sisters—Ai-ling, Ching-ling, and May-ling—daughters of a wealthy Shanghai family, whose marriages to presidents and prime ministers of China meant they influenced the country’s leaders. 60,000-copy announced first printing.
A Game of Birds and Wolves: The Young Women Who Played to Win World War II by Simon Parkin (Jan. 28, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-49209-6) describes the role played by WRENS (Women’s Royal Naval Service) members in crafting the Allied strategy to defeat German U-boats.
No Stopping Us Now: A History of American Women, Age, and Expectations Defied by Gail Collins (Oct. 15, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-28654-1) is a social history of American women and aging from the New York Times columnist.
Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II by Bret Baier and Catherine Whitney (Oct. 22, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-290568-0). Fox News anchor Baier and Whitney team up for another entry in the Three Days series, highlighting FDR’s contributions at the 1943 Tehran Conference with Churchill and Stalin, where they designed the strategy underlying D-Day and Allied victory.
The Accusation: Blood Libel in an American Town by Edward Berenson (Sept. 10, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-24942-2) examines what the author says is the only case of “blood libel,” or accusations that Jews perpetrate human sacrifices, in American history, which occurred in a town with many inhabitants who had recently immigrated from Europe, where such accusations were common.
The Season: A Social History of the Debutante by Kristen Richardson (Nov. 19, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-393-60873-1) reviews six centuries of the coming-out ritual in both England and the U.S., including debutantes’ own perceptions of the practice.
And in the Vienna Woods the Trees Remain: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Family Torn Apart by War by Elisabeth Åsbrink, trans. by Saskia Vogel (Jan. 21, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-59051-917-2), explores the childhood friendship between the pro-fascist Ingvar Kamprad, who would later found Ikea, and Otto Ullman, a Jewish refugee from Austria who worked as a farmhand for Kamprad’s family.
Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs by Camilla Townsend (Nov. 1, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-19-067306-2) looks at the history of indigenous Mexicans from their own perspective, including the conquest by Spain, drawing exclusively on newly translated texts that used the Roman alphabet to write in Nahuatl.
Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age by Sara Wheeler (Nov. 5, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-5247-4801-2). Travel writer Wheeler combines history and memoir in this account of roaming the Russian countryside; staying with locals; visiting the homes of Russian writers including Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, and Tolstoy; and observing Putin-era culture.
The Fire Is upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America by Nicholas Buccola (Oct. 1, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-18154-7) narrates the events leading up to and resulting from the televised debate between Baldwin and Buckley in 1965 on the topic “the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro.”
Agents of Influence: The British Plot to Change America’s Mind by Henry Hemming (Oct. 8, $28, ISBN 978-1-5417-4214-7) explores the propaganda work of MI5 agent William Stephenson, who was sent to the U.S. to try to sway the country to reelect FDR and turn away from the isolationist candidate Charles Lindbergh so that the U.S. would enter the war.
The Invention of Yesterday: A 50,000-Year History of Human Culture, Conflict, and Connection by Tamim Ansary (Oct. 1, $28, ISBN 978-1-61039-796-4) traces humanity’s evolution from small, largely separate nomadic groups, whose territory accounted for a small amount of Earth’s geography, to today’s massive, interconnected global civilization that covers almost all of the planet.
Checkpoint Charlie: The Cold War, the Berlin Wall, and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Iain MacGregor (Nov. 12, $30, ISBN 978-1-982100-03-2) brings together accounts from the Berlin Wall’s builders, people who attempted to cross it, military service members who guarded it, spies who worked on both sides of it, and others, arguing that it was the symbolic center of the Cold War.
Simon & Schuster
Lincoln’s Spies: Their Secret War to Save a Nation by Douglas Waller (Aug. 6, $35, ISBN 978-1-5011-2684-0) recounts the successes and failures of two Union spymasters, detective Allan Pinkerton and lawyer George Sharpe, and two spies, Virginia heiress and highly successful spy Elizabeth Van Lew and Union officer Lafayette Baker.
Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story by Marie Arana (Aug. 27, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-0424-4) profiles three contemporary Latin Americans—a rural gold miner, a Cuban expelled from his country, and a Spanish priest who works with indigenous people in Bolivia—whose lives intersect with influential social forces in the region.
Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5’s Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton (Nov. 12, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-22176-6) recounts the exploits of Eric Roberts, who masqueraded as a Gestapo agent in England and built a network of Nazi-sympathizing informants in order to neutralize them.
The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America by Byron L. Dorgan (Nov. 26, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-17364-5). Founder of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, Dorgan recounts his 1990 encounter with a Native American foster child suffering abuse, her subsequent disappearance, and his decades-long search for her.
Cheaters Always Win: The Story of America by J.M. Fenster (Dec. 3, $28, ISBN 978-1-5387-2870-3) looks at American cheaters—in business, sports, academics, and politics—who prosper.
Someone Is Out to Get Us: A Not So Brief History of Cold War Paranoia and Madness by Brian Brown (Nov. 5, $30, ISBN 978-1-5387-2803-1) surveys the fears of the Cold War era in the U.S., arguing that fear of the Soviet Union was wildly misplaced and that J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, and Richard Nixon were more dangerous.
Univ. of Chicago
Newcomers: Gentrification and Its Discontents by Matthew L. Schuerman (Nov. 8, $30, ISBN 978-0-226-47626-1) uses northwest Brooklyn, the Mission District in San Francisco, and Chicago’s former Cabrini-Green housing project to explore the complex phenomenon of gentrification in American cities, which he argues can sometimes harm residents but sometimes benefit them.
Univ. of North Carolina
Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor (Oct. 21, $30, ISBN 978-1-4696-5366-2) chronicles the transition within real estate from excluding black people via redlining to including them for exploitative reasons—seeing black women in particular as desirable buyers because they were more likely to go into foreclosure.
Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Lands by Dan Jones (Oct. 1, $30, ISBN 978-0-525-42831-2). Jones returns with a history of the Crusades that features a mosaic of portraits of people on all sides.
Free Enterprise: An American History by Lawrence B. Glickman (Aug. 20, $32.50, ISBN 978-0-300-23825-9) traces the concept’s entry into American discourse, its acclaim by opponents of the New Deal, and its evolution as a political keyword over time to a pillar of the contemporary conservative drive to limit government’s role in the economy.
Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power by Pekka Hämäläinen (Oct. 22, $35, ISBN 978-0-300-21595-3) covers Lakota history from the 16th century to today, recounting the Lakotas’ double transformation from hunter-gatherers to a river people in the Missouri valley and then to horse people dominant on the plains, as well as the reigns of Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull.