The struggle for racial justice takes center stage this season, alongside surveys of Russian history, WWII espionage sagas, studies of white supremacist ideology in U.S. institutions, and tributes to pioneering Black Americans.

Top 10

American Caliph: The True Story of a Muslim Mystic, a Hollywood Epic, and the 1977 Siege of Washington, DC

Shahan Mufti. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov. 1 ($30, ISBN 978-0-374-20858-5)

Journalist Mufti recounts the first homegrown Islamic terrorist attack in the U.S., committed by members of a Black Muslim group whose leader had split from the Nation of Islam.

American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis

Adam Hochschild. Mariner, Oct. 4 ($29.99, ISBN 978-0-358-45546-2)

The political, racial, and economic tensions that roiled the U.S. home front during WWI are probed in this history from the author of King Leopold’s Ghost.

Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb

James M. Scott. Norton, Sept. 6 ($35, ISBN 978-1-324-00299-4)

Scott contends that the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo, which killed more than 100,000 people, set the stage for the atomic bombings five months later of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Matthew F. Delmont. Viking, Oct. 18 ($30, ISBN 978-1-984880-39-0)

Dartmouth historian Delmont surveys the contributions Black soldiers and civilians made to the Allied victory in WWII and how their experiences affected the fight for racial equality.

Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America

Pekka Hämäläinen. Liveright, Sept. 20 ($40, ISBN 978-1-63149-699-8)

Indigenous people controlled North America for 400 years after the arrival of the first Europeans, according to this revisionist history from Bancroft Prize winner Hämäläinen.

Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self

Andrea Wulf. Knopf, Sept. 13 ($35, ISBN 978-0-525-65711-8)

Wulf traces the roots of romanticism to a quiet university town in Germany in the 1790s.

The Rebel and the Kingdom: The True Story of the Secret Mission to Overthrow the North Korean Regime

Bradley Hope. Crown, Nov. 1 ($29, ISBN 978-0-593-24065-6)

The history behind a 2019 raid on the North Korean embassy in Madrid is revealed in this investigation by the coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale.

The Story of Russia

Orlando Figes. Metropolitan, Sept. 20 ($29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-79689-9)

Figes examines the origins of the Rus and other narratives that have shaped Russia’s identity.

Teaching White Supremacy: America’s Democratic Ordeal and the Forging of Our National Identity

Donald Yacovone. Pantheon, Sept. 13 ($32.50, ISBN 978-0-593-31663-4)

Harvard scholar Yacovone documents how white supremacist ideology has been fostered by the American education system from the Revolutionary era to today.

The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century

Peniel E. Joseph. Basic, Sept. 6 ($27, ISBN 978-1-5416-0074-4)

Joseph argues that America is in the midst of a racial reckoning on par with the Reconstruction and the civil rights era.

History

Abrams press

Bravo Company: An Afghanistan Deployment and Its Aftermath by Ben Kesling (Nov. 1, $30, ISBN 978-1-4197-5115-8) documents the enlistment, training, combat tour, and physical and psychological scars of one unit in the 82nd Airborne Division, whose members were chosen as test subjects for a new approach to treating veterans.

Atlantic Monthly PRESS

The Evolution of Charles Darwin: The Epic Voyage of the Beagle That Forever Changed Our View of Life on Earth by Diana Preston (Oct. 4, $30, ISBN 978-0-8021-6018-8) details Charles Darwin’s five-year journey aboard the HMS Beagle and its influence on his theory of evolution.

Basic

Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power by Jefferson Cowie (Nov. 22, $35, ISBN 978-1-5416-7280-2) renders the history of Barbour County, Ala., birthplace of the state’s segregationist governor George Wallace, to reveal how white Americans have invoked the concept of freedom to oppress people of color.

Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s by Nicole Hemmer (Aug. 30, $32, ISBN 978-1-5416-4688-9). “Written in stylish, entertaining prose,” this political history is “nicely balanced between colorful personalities, electoral dogfights, and shrewd analysis of sea changes in ideology and public attitudes,” according to PW’s review.

Belknap

Objects of Love and Regret: A Brooklyn Story by Richard Rabinowitz (Sept. 27, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-674-26859-3) recounts the story of the author’s Jewish immigrant family through its interactions with everyday objects, including a green, wooden-handled bottle opener and a gift of French perfume.

Bloomsbury

I Saw Death Coming: A History of Terror and Survival in the War Against Reconstruction by Kidada E. Williams (Jan. 17, $28, ISBN 978-1-63557-663-4) reexamines the lives of formerly enslaved people during Reconstruction and how the trauma they endured has been passed down from generation to generation. 60,000-copy announced first printing.

Broadleaf

Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future by Patty Krawec (Sept. 27, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-5064-7825-8) views the history of settler colonialism in the U.S. from an Indigenous perspective and offers a vision for a more interrelated future.

Cambridge Univ.

The Lost Paratroopers of Normandy: A Story of Resistance, Courage, and Solidarity in a French Village by Stephen G. Rabe (Nov. 10, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-00-920637-2) details how French villagers, most of them women, sheltered and assisted a group of American paratroopers who were dropped off-target on D-Day.

Chronicle

“I Can’t Wait to Call You My Wife”: African American Letters of Love, Marriage, and Family in the Civil War Era by Rita Roberts (Oct. 18, $35, ISBN 978-1-79721-372-9) gathers African American correspondence from the Civil War, including courtship letters sent by one of Frederick Douglass’s sons to the daughter of a prominent abolitionist.

Counterpoint

Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by RJ Young (Nov. 1, $27, ISBN 978-1-64009-502-1) examines how present-day Tulsa, Okla., wrestles with the legacy of the 1921 massacre of its Black residents and the cover-up that followed.

Crown

Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison by Ben Macintyre (Sept. 13, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-593-13633-1) relates the stories of Allied soldiers sent to Colditz Castle, where the Nazis held the most defiant POWs.

Custom House

Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence by Nicholas Reynolds (Sept. 6, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-296747-3) traces the roots of America’s intelligence agencies to WWII and Winston Churchill’s determination to get the U.S. to join the war against Hitler.

Diversion

The Oswalds: An Untold Account of Marina and Lee by Paul R. Gregory (Nov. 15, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-63576-821-3). Hoover Institution economist Gregory recalls his encounters with Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife, Marina, in the months before Oswald’s assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Doubleday

The Last Campaign: Sherman, Geronimo and the War for America by H.W. Brands (Nov. 1, $35, ISBN 978-0-385-54728-4) intertwines the lives and military campaigns of Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and Apache warrior Geronimo in the 1870s and ’80s.

Dutton

Sinkable: Obsession, the Deep Sea, and the Shipwreck of the Titanic by Daniel Stone (Aug. 16, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-32937-5) explores the enduring fascination with the Titanic, how it sank, and why it took nearly 70 years to locate the wreckage.

Dutton Caliber

Taking Berlin: The Bloody Race to Defeat the Third Reich by Martin Dugard (Nov. 1, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-18742-5) recounts the final months of WWII, as the American, British, and Soviet armies squeezed Nazi forces from the west and the east, respectively.

Europa Compass

Free to Obey: How the Nazis Invented Modern Management by Johann Chapoutot, trans. by Steven Rendall (Nov. 1, $17 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-60945-804-1), spotlights the influence of SS commander Reinhard Höhn, who founded a prominent German management school in the 1950s, and other former Nazis on modern-day corporate culture.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Waging a Good War: A Military History of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954–1968 by Thomas E. Ricks (Oct. 4, $30, ISBN 978-0-374-60516-2) examines the civil rights movement’s successful use of military strategy to confront its enemies and later struggles with internal disputes and white backlash. 200,000-copy announced first printing.

Griffin

Luck of the Draw: My Story of the Air War in Europe by Frank Murphy (Jan. 10, $18.99 trade paper, ISBN 978-1-250-86689-9) is the autobiography of a B-17 navigator who was shot down over Germany in 1943 and survived several months in a POW camp. 100,000-copy announced first printing.

Grove

A Woman’s Life Is a Human Life: My Mother, Our Neighbor and the Journey from Reproductive Rights to Reproductive Justice in New York and the Nation by Felicia Kornbluh (Jan. 17, $28, ISBN 978-0-8021-6068-3) documents the campaigns to decriminalize abortion and prevent sterilization abuse in 1970s New York State.

Hachette

American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics by Kevin Hazzard (Sept. 20, $30, ISBN 978-0-306-92607-5) unearths the story of a group of young Black men in Pittsburgh who pioneered emergency medical services in the 1970s. 60,000-copy announced first printing.

Hanover Square

The Pirate’s Wife: The Remarkable True Story of Sarah Kidd by Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos (Nov. 8, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-335-42984-1) traces Sarah Kidd’s journey from New York socialite, twice widowed by the age of 21, to wife and accomplice of the infamous pirate Captain Kidd.

Harper

The Abyss: Nuclear Crisis Cuba 1962 by Max Hastings (Oct. 18, $35, ISBN 978-0-06-298013-7) recreates the 13-day standoff between Cuba, Russia, and the U.S. that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Mussolini’s Daughter: The Most Dangerous Woman in Europe by Caroline Moorehead (Oct. 18, $29.99, ISBN 978-0-06-296725-1) focuses on the role Edda Mussolini, the favorite child of Benito Mussolini and wife of foreign affairs minister Count Galleazzo Ciano, played in bringing Italian society under the yoke of fascism.

Knopf

Our America: A Photographic History by Ken Burns (Oct. 25, $75, ISBN 978-0-385-35301-4). According to PW’s starred review, this “stunning” visual history is “a must-have for fans of Burns’s documentaries.” 75,000-copy announced first printing.

The World: A Family History by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Jan. 31, $45, ISBN 978-0-525-65953-2) views human history through the lens of powerful rulers and their family dynasties, including Liu Bang, a peasant who founded the Han dynasty in China, and ancient Egypt’s Hatshepsut, the first female pharaoh. 75,000-copy announced first printing.

Liveright

The Great Air Race: Death, Glory, and the Dawn of American Aviation by John Lancaster (Nov. 15, $28.95, ISBN 978-1-63149-637-0) chronicles the hair-raising round trip race between New York City and San Francisco in October 1919 and its influence on commercial
aviation in the U.S.

MCD

Democracy’s Data: The Hidden Stories in the U.S. Census and How to Read Them by Dan Bouk (Aug. 23, $30, ISBN 978-0-374-60254-3) examines how the 1940 U.S. census enabled important social programs, as well as the internment of “enemy aliens” during WWII.

Melville House

The Yank: The True Story of a Former U.S. Marine in the Irish Republican Army by John Crawley (Sept. 6, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-61219-984-9). PW says this “lucid” account of the IRA in the 1980s delivers “a clear-eyed look, from the inside, at a group willing to risk it all for a cause.”

Morrow

Blood & Ink: The Scandalous Jazz Age Double Murder That Hooked America on True Crime by Joe Pompeo (Sept. 13, $32.50, ISBN 978-0-06-300173-2) reveals how the 1922 slaying of a prominent New Jersey minister and his married mistress, a choir singer, helped spark the rise of America’s tabloid industry.

New Press

The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power by Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad (Aug. 30, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62097-760-6). This “blistering” examination of recent military interventions in the Middle East and Africa offers “a fierce and well-informed condemnation of U.S. imperialism,” according to the PW review.

Norton

Control: The Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics by Adam Rutherford (Nov. 15, $30, ISBN 978-1-324-03560-2) sheds light on the widespread promotion of eugenics in Gilded Age America and the theory’s echoes in contemporary discussions of gene editing and other forms of reproductive control.

Oxford Univ.

The Caliph and the Imam: The Making of Sunnism and Shiism by Toby Matthiesen (Jan. 26, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-19-068946-9) documents the origins of the Sunni-Shia split in Islam and its impact on world events including the Iran-Iraq war.

Pegasus

Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920–2020 by Elisabeth Griffith (Aug. 2, $35, ISBN 978-
1-63936-189-2) details the continuing struggle for women’s rights since the passage of the 19th Amendment, with a focus on the dynamic between Black and white feminists.

Penguin Press

The Fifth Act: America’s End in Afghanistan by Elliot Ackerman (Aug. 9, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-49204-8) draws on the author’s experience as a U.S. Marine and CIA officer to recount the 20-year war in Afghanistan from its earliest days to its chaotic final week.

Personality and Power: Builders and Destroyers of Modern Europe by Ian Kershaw (Nov. 15, $30, ISBN 978-1-59420-345-9) compares how 20th-century European leaders including Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Churchill, and Gorbachev wielded power.

Plume

Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution by Nona Willis Aronowitz (Aug. 9, $28, ISBN 978-0-593-18276-5) combines memoir, social history, and cultural criticism in an investigation of the links between feminism and sexual liberation.

Princeton Univ.

Postcards from Absurdistan: Prague at the End of History by Derek Sayer (Nov. 22, $45, ISBN 978-0-691-18545-3) chronicles Prague’s tumultuous history between the Nazi annexation of Czecho-
slovakia in 1938 and the collapse of the country’s Communist dictatorship in 1989.

PublicAffairs

Come to This Court and Cry: How the Holocaust Ends by Linda Kinstler (Aug. 23, $30, ISBN 978-1-5417-0259-2). PW’s review says this “captivating” inquiry into the WWII-era activities of the author’s grandfather, a Nazi collaborator, is “a fascinating and often troubling account of how the past haunts the present.”

Putnam

All That Is Wicked: A Gilded Age Story of Murder and the Race to Decode the Criminal Mind by Kate Winkler Dawson (Oct. 4, $27, ISBN 978-0-593-42006-5) recounts the crimes of 19th-century serial murderer Edward Rulloff and how they contributed to the nascent field of criminal psychology.

Random House

And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham (Oct. 25, $40, ISBN 978-0-553-39396-5) traces the roots of Lincoln’s abolitionism to the Baptist sermons he heard as a child and examines how he marshaled the political power to end slavery.

Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis That Made a President by Jonathan Darman (Sept. 6, $32, ISBN 978-1-4000-6707-7) details how Franklin Roosevelt’s bout with polio at age 39 and seven-year recovery transformed his personal and political life and made the achievements of his presidency possible.

Riverhead

Indivisible: Daniel Webster and the Birth of American Nationalism by Joel Richard Paul (Oct. 25, $30, ISBN 978-0-593-18904-7) revisits the New Hampshire politician’s speeches and writings about the indivisibility of the U.S. and their impact on Abraham Lincoln and other leaders who prioritized national identity over state interests.

Scribner

The Island of Extraordinary Captives: A Painter, a Poet, an Heiress, and a Spy in a World War II British Internment Camp by Simon Parkin (Nov. 1, $30, ISBN 978-1-982178-52-9) studies England’s harsh treatment of “enemy aliens” during WWII through the story of a Jewish orphan who was detained at a camp on the Isle of Man.

Seal

Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender by Kit Heyam (Sept. 13, $30, ISBN 978-1-5416-0308-0). This “expansive and illuminating” survey of gender nonconformity “is an essential addition to trans history,” according to PW’s review.

Spiegel & Grau

Brave Hearted: The Women of the American West by Katie Hickman (Oct. 25, $32, ISBN 978-1-954118-17-1) documents the experiences of women in the Wild West, including Presby-
terian missionary Narcissa Whitman and Biddy Mason, who obtained her freedom from slavery in a California court. 25,000-copy announced first printing.

St. Martin’s

Africatown: America’s Last Slave Ship and the Community It Created by Nick Tabor (Jan. 3, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-250-76654-0) details the story of the last enslaved Africans brought to America, 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, and the community they founded near Mobile, Ala. 40,000-copy announced first printing.

Univ. of California

Under the Iron Heel: The Wobblies and the Capitalist War on Radical Workers by Ahmed White (Oct. 25, $34.95, ISBN 978-0-520-38240-4) recounts the legal and extralegal methods used by corporate and government leaders to bring down the Industrial Workers of the World in the 1920s, and how that campaign helped shape modern America.

Viking

Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917–1921 by Antony Beevor (Sept. 20, $35, ISBN 978-0-593-49387-8) chronicles the conflict between anticommunist white forces and the Bolshevik Red Army that engulfed Russia after the fall of Czar Nicholas II.

Yale Univ.

Adventurers: The Improbable Rise of the East India Company: 1550–1650 by David Howarth (Nov. 29, $35, ISBN 978-0-300-25072-5) examines the origins of the East India Company in Tudor England and its rise to become the largest commercial enterprise in British history.

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