Spring sees new voices and old hands tackling America’s social ills, first draft histories of the Covid-19 pandemic and 2020 presidential campaign, food industry exposés, political manifestos, and dispatches from China’s internment camps.

Top 10

The End of Bias: A Beginning: The New Science of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Jessica Nordell. Metropolitan, May 11 ($27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-18618-8)

Science and culture journalist Nordell documents the negative impact of implicit bias on society and recent research into ways to prevent it.


Sebastian Junger. Simon & Schuster, May 18 ($27, ISBN 978-1-9821-5341-0)

Junger centers his inquiry into humanity’s conflicting needs for freedom and community on a 350-mile trek he and three friends made along the railway lines of the East Coast.

The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War

Louis Menand. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr. 20 ($35, ISBN 978-0-374-15845-3)

In his follow-up to The Metaphysical Club, Menand characterizes the Cold War as a contest of ideas and charts how America lost its moral authority but gained cultural dominance.

Made in China: A Prisoner, an SOS Letter, and the Hidden Cost of America’s Cheap Goods

Amelia Pang. Algonquin, Feb. 2 ($27.95, ISBN 978-1-61620-917-9)

PW’s starred review says this “vivid and powerful report on Chinese forced labor camps and their connections to the American marketplace... will make readers think twice about their next purchase.”

Mutualism: Building the Next Economy from the Ground Up

Sara Horowitz. Random House, Feb. 16 ($28, ISBN 978-0-593-13352-1)

Horowitz, founder of the Freelancers Union, explores how the gig economy has stripped American workers of their safety net and posits a solution based on models of mutual cooperation.

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America

Carol Anderson. Bloomsbury, June 1 ($28, ISBN 978-1-63557-425-8)

Anderson views the Second Amendment through the lens of racial justice, arguing that the right to bear arms has always been used to oppress Black Americans.

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Heather McGhee. One World, Feb. 16 ($27, ISBN 978-0-525-50956-1)

Racism is the common factor in the most pressing problems that affect all Americans, including declining wages, inadequate health care, and crumbling public infrastructure, according to this treatise from an economic policy analyst.

Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City

Rosa Brooks. Penguin Press, Feb. 9 ($28, ISBN 978-0-525-55785-2)

Brooks, a Georgetown University law professor and Barbara Ehrenreich’s daughter, recounts her experiences as a reserve police officer in Washington, D.C.

The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage

Jonathan Cohn. St. Martin’s, Feb. 23 ($28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-27093-1)

HuffPost correspondent Cohn documents the legislative battle to pass the Affordable Care Act and the ongoing war over how best to fix American health care.

You Are Right to Be Concerned: Democrats in Crisis in the Trump Years

Edward-Isaac Dovere. Viking, Apr. 20 ($28, ISBN 978-1-9848-7807-6)

Journalist Dovere chronicles the Democratic Party’s internal divisions and quest to pick a candidate and find a message that would help them take back the White House in 2020.

Politics & Current Affairs Listings


Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women by Inger Burnett-Zeigler (Mar. 16, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-06-295982-9). Clinical psychologist Burnett-Zeigler examines how the myth of the strong Black woman increases the risk of mental and physical disorders among African American women.

Atlantic Monthly

When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism in America by Theodore Roosevelt Johnson III (June 8, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-5785-0). A senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice, Johnson offers a plan for coming together to solve the problem of racism.

Avid Reader

Untitled 2020 Campaign Book by Ryan Lizza and Olivia Nuzzi (Mar. 9, $30, ISBN 978-1-9821-3035-0). Politico correspondent Lizza and New York reporter Nuzzi go behind the scenes of the 2020 presidential campaign.


The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende (Mar. 2, $22, ISBN 978-0-593-35562-6). Revisiting her childhood being raised by a single mother, her journalism career during feminism’s second wave, and her three marriages, Allende explores what it means to be a woman and a feminist.


A Pattern of Violence: How the Law Classifies Crimes and What It Means for Justice by David Alan Sklansky (Mar. 23, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-674-24890-8) blames inconsistent legal notions about violence for mass incarceration and other flaws in the criminal justice system.


This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth (Feb. 9, $30, ISBN 978-1-63557-605-4) examines how the U.S. government’s hoarding of “zero day” software bugs created a marketplace for cyberweapons that soon fell into the hands of the nation’s enemies.

Bold Type

Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet—and How We Fight Back by Kate Aronoff (Apr. 20, $28, ISBN 978-1-56858-947-3) contends that climate change will not be solved by the free market and offers a plan for curbing the fossil fuel industry and making the economy more democratic and sustainable.


The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos by Sohrab Ahmari (May 11, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-13717-8). New York Post opinion editor Ahmari surveys the world’s ethical and religious traditions to answer questions about the meaning of life and the sources of modern-day alienation and social conflict.


Command: Inside the Oval Office with Three Presidents, and the Wartime Decisions That Changed the World by Brett McGurk (July 13, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-13832-8). A national security official in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations details his former bosses’ decision-making processes.

Dey Street

The Spymaster of Baghdad: A True Story of Bravery, Family, and Patriotism in the Battle Against ISIS by Margaret Coker (Feb. 23, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-294742-0). This story of an elite Iraqi intelligence unit’s campaign against the Islamic State is “a dramatic and edifying must-read,” according to the starred PW review.


But You’re Still So Young: How Thirtysomethings Are Redefining Adulthood by Kayleen Schaefer (Mar. 2, $25, ISBN 978-1-5247-4483-0) investigates the factors that have caused many Americans to be late in reaching the
traditional markers of adulthood.


Children Under Fire: An American Crisis by John Woodrow Cox (Mar. 30, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-288393-3). Washington Post reporter Cox documents the toll gun violence takes on American children and examines the effectiveness of gun safety measures.

The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves by J.B. MacKinnon (May 11, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-285602-9) considers the environmental and social benefits of shopping less, and whether it’s possible to do so without sabotaging the economy.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Democracy Rules by Jan-Werner Müller (July 6, $27, ISBN 978-0-374-13647-5) follows What Is Populism? with a look at how democracy can be saved through the rehabilitation of political parties and the free press.

Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis (Mar. 16, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-15927-6) probes the impact of Amazon on life in America through the stories of people, businesses, and regions that have been forced to adapt to the company’s whims.


Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now
to Save Reproductive Freedom
by Kathryn Kolbert and Julie F. Kay (July 13, $28, ISBN 978-0-306-92563-4) recounts the legal battles leading up to the current state of abortion rights in America and offers a plan for protecting them.


Assume Nothing: A Story of Intimate Violence by Tanya Selvaratnam (Feb. 23, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-305990-0). Filmmaker Selvaratnam examines domestic violence in America through the allegations of abuse she made against former New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

Harvard Univ.

The Return of Inequality: Social Change and the Weight of the Past by Mike Savage (May 18, $35, ISBN 978-0-674-98807-1). Sociologist Savage contends that economic inequality is undoing the democratic progress Western society has sought since the Age of Revolution.


Securing Democracy: My Fight for Press Freedom and Justice in Bolsonaro’s Brazil by Glenn Greenwald (Apr. 6, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-64259-450-8) details the death threats, legal pressure, and public controversy Greenwald and his husband have faced for documenting political corruption in Brazil.


How We Can Win: Race, History and Changing the Money Game That’s Rigged by Kimberly Jones (May 4, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-250-80512-6). The political activist and YA author expands on the topics she addressed in a viral video about protests over the police killing of George Floyd.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the Twenty-First Century by Josh Rogin (Mar. 9, $30, ISBN 978-0-358-39324-5) details the high stakes of the U.S.-China relationship and internal divisions within the Trump administration over its strategy of confrontation.


A Beginner’s Guide
to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious
by Roya Hakakian (Mar. 16, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65606-7). Journalist and poet Hakakian delivers “a poignant and richly observed” look at the immigrant experience in America, according to PW’s review.

Little, Brown

Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller (Feb. 2, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-45151-2). In a starred review, PW says Miller’s “unique” blend of memoir and sociological treatise “makes clear just how high the deck is stacked against the formerly incarcerated.”

Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School by Courtney E. Martin (July 6, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-42826-2) views the problem of racial inequality in America through the lens of education and the author’s decision to send her daughter to a public school in Oakland, Calif.


Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine by Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley (May 4, $28, ISBN 978-0-374-12658-2) looks at where the idea of quarantining to prevent the spread of infectious disease came from, how it’s been practiced throughout history, and where it might be going.

Melville House

Twilight in Hazard: An Appalachian Reckoning by Alan Maimon (June 8, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-61219-885-9). The former eastern Kentucky bureau chief for the Louisville Courier-Journal reports on the region’s high poverty rates, opioid epidemic, and other distresses.


Public Health Saved Your Life Today: A Doctor’s Journey on the Frontlines of Medicine and the Fight for Equity by Leana Wen (July 13, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-18623-2) chronicles Wen’s path from Chinese refugee to Baltimore’s health commissioner and makes the case for the importance of public health programs in confronting America’s ills.

New Press

Planet Palm: How Palm Oil Ended Up in Everything—and Endangered the World by Jocelyn C. Zuckerman (May 25, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-523-7) investigates the rise in palm oil production over the past decade and the dangers it poses to the environment, the societies where it is harvested, and global health.

The Precarious Line: Black Lives, Police Power, and the Fourth Amendment by Devon W. Carbado (June 8, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-424-7) looks at how Supreme Court rulings on the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures over the past 40 years have contributed to police violence against African Americans.


Citadels of Pride: Sexual Abuse, Accountability, and Reconciliation by Martha C. Nussbaum (May 11, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00411-0) tracks the history of efforts to hold men legally accountable for sexual assault and sexual harassment, with a focus on the objectification of women in the judiciary, the arts, and American sports.

We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom by Nesrine Malik (May 11, $23.95, ISBN 978-1-324-00729-6) contends that concerns over political correctness, identity politics, and “cancel culture” are raised by Republicans and Democrats to protect the status quo and undermine calls for reform by historically disenfranchised groups.

One Signal

To Raise a Boy: Classrooms, Locker Rooms, Bedrooms, and the Hidden Struggles of American Boyhood by Emma Brown (Mar. 2, $27, ISBN 978-1-9821-2808-1). Washington Post reporter Brown looks at how American society has failed to properly educate boys about sex, masculinity, and their emotions, and what can be done about it.

Oxford Univ.

Liars: Falsehoods and Free Speech in an Age of Deception by Cass R. Sunstein (Mar. 1, $22.95, ISBN 978-0-19-754511-9) takes up the question of how to guard against the viral spread of disinformation while protecting the right to free speech.

Penguin Press

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Money, Democracy, and Everything Else by Jordan Ellenberg (May 25, $28, ISBN 978-1-9848-7905-9) explains how geometry can help people to better understand elections, stop the spread of infectious diseases, and other pressing matters.

We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto by Alice L. Waters (June 1, $26, ISBN 978-0-525-56153-8) draws from Waters’s experiences as a chef and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project to make the case that people can improve the world by changing the way they eat.

Princeton Univ.

Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing by Christopher A. Bail (Apr. 6, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-691-20342-3). The director of the Polarization Lab at Duke University shares his research on the relationship between hyperpartisanship and social media.


Awakening: #MeToo and the Global Fight for Women’s Rights by Rachel Vogelstein and Meighan Stone (July 13, $28, ISBN 978-1-5417-5862-9) reports on how the #MeToo movement has galvanized women in Brazil, China, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sweden.

To End a Plague: America’s Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa by Emily Bass (June 8, $30, ISBN 978-1-5417-6243-5) tells the story of PEPFAR, a successful program launched by the Bush administration to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa.


Mergers and Acquisitions: Or, Everything I Know About Love I Learned on the Wedding Pages by Cate Doty (May 4, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-19044-9). A reporter for the New York Times wedding section takes a look at the institution of marriage and her own understanding of commitment.

Random House

Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig (May 11, $30, ISBN 978-0-399-58901-0) tracks the history of the Secret Service from the reforms instituted after the assassination of President Kennedy to the scandals and mistakes of the Obama and Trump years.

Scribe Us

The Chief Witness: Escape from China’s Modern-Day Concentration Camps by Sayragul Sauytbay, trans. by Caroline Waight (June 15, $20 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-950354-52-8). A former inmate at one of China’s penal camps for Kazakhs and Uighurs relates her experiences.


To Rule the Waves: How Control of the World’s Oceans Determines the Fate of the Superpowers by Bruce Jones (Apr. 27, $28, ISBN 978-1-9821-2725-1) examines the central role of the world’s oceans in modern-day geopolitical affairs.

Simon & Schuster

The Debt Trap: How Student Loans Became a National Catastrophe by Josh Mitchell (Apr. 27, $27, ISBN 978-1-5011-9944-8). Wall Street Journal reporter Mitchell documents the origins of the student loan crisis and draws comparisons to the 2007 housing market crash.

St. Martin’s

Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response by Andy Slavitt (Mar. 16, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-77016-5). The former head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid under President Obama critiques the Trump administration’s response to Covid-19.

Stanford Univ.

Identity Capitalists: The Powerful Insiders Who Exploit Diversity to Maintain Inequality by Nancy Leong (Feb. 9, $28, ISBN 978-1-5036-1013-2) contends that a national focus on diversity rather than equality has allowed corporations and wealthy elites to exploit marginalized groups for their own economic and social gain.


Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and Desire in the Age of Consent by Katherine Angel (Mar. 2, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-78873-916-0). Angel’s essay collection is “a lively and incisive inquiry into the sexual dynamics of the #MeToo era,” according to PW’s starred review.


Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump by Spencer Ackerman (May 11, $30, ISBN 978-1-9848-7977-6). National security reporter Ackerman claims that the seeds of America’s turn toward authoritarianism during the Trump presidency were sown by the policies of the war on terror.

Yale Univ.

After Democracy: Imagining Our Political Future by Zizi Papacharissi (Feb. 9, $26, ISBN 978-0-300-24596-7) draws on interviews with people in more than 30 countries to explore how the democratic system of government might be improved.

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