From Revolutionary America to Saddam Hussein | History Previews, Jun. 1, 2017, Pt. 1

Bardenwerper, Will. The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9781501117831. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501117855. HISTORY
A decorated Airborne Ranger–qualified infantry officer in Iraq who also served four years inepstein the Pentagon, Bardenwerper tells the morally complex story of 12 American soldiers given an unexpected assignment in 2006 Iraq: guarding Saddam Hussein in the months before his execution. The soldiers found themselves rethinking their assumptions, acknowledging Hussein’s courage and genial temperament while understanding his murderous legacy. With a three-city tour to Boston, New York, and Washington, DC.

Epstein, Daniel Mark. The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House. Ballantine. Jun. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9780345544216. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780345544223. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY
What better indication of how fractious the American Revolution really was than this portrait of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and his illegitimate son, William, whom he adopted and raised to be his aide. William became royal governor of New Jersey and remained loyal to Britain—even becoming a cutthroat counterrevolutionary leader—even as his father led the charge to independence. A little-known story, drawing on new documentary information, from a busy biographer (e.g., The Lincolns) who has received a Rome Prize and an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Hernon, Peter. The Great Rescue: American Heroes, an Iconic Ship, and Saving Europe hernonDuring WWI. Harper. Jun. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062433862. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062433886. HISTORY
Docked in New York harbor in August 1914, the German luxury ocean liner SS Vaterland was interned there until April 1917, when the United States entered the war. The ship was seized by the U.S. Navy and converted into the troop ship USS Leviathan, which carried to battle more than 10,000 American Expeditionary Force troops per crossing. Published to commemorate the centennial of America’s entry into World War I; from New York Times best-selling author Hernon.

Keilson, Hans. 1944 Diary. Farrar. Jun. 2017. 224p. tr. from German by Damion Searls. ISBN 9780374535599. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374713898. MEMOIR/HOLOCAUST
Born in Germany in 1909, a published novelist by 1933, a member of the Dutch Resistance during World War II, and thereafter a famed psychotherapist treating children with war trauma, Keilson left behind this diary when he died at age 101. It covers nine months he spent in hiding with the resistance, chronicling his struggle to survive even as he sorted through personal moral and aesthetic issues. Readers of The Death of the Adversary (1959) and Comedy in a Minor Key keilson(1944), two novels set during World War II and translated by Searls to much acclaim in 2010, know to expect fine writing.

McCarter, Jeremy. Young Radicals: In the War for American Ideals. Random. Jun. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780812993059. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780679644545. HISTORY
Former cultural critic for New York magazine and Newsweek and coauthor with the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Hamilton: The Revolution, McCarter examines five young radicals in early 20th-century America who stuck to their ideals despite the tumult around them. They include visionary social critic Randolph Bourne, agit-prop poet Max Eastman, crusading political commentator Walter Lippmann, suffragist Alice Reed, and John Reed, publicist for the Russian Revolution. Explosive issues still relevant today.

Nations, Scott. A History of the United States in Five Crashes: Stock Market Meltdowns That Defined a Nation. Morrow. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062467270. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062467294. ECONOMIC HISTORY
The Panic of 1907, Black Tuesday (1929), Black Monday (1987), the Great Recession (2008), and the Flash Crash (2010). These five most disastrous stock market crashes in 20th-century U.S. history are here detailed by CNBC commentator Nations, who reveals not only how and why they occurred but how they shaped America as it is today. Once a day trader, Nations saw the last three crashes up close, which gives this book an edge. With a 75,000-copy first printing.starvirdis

Stavridis, Adm. James USN (Ret.). Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780735220591. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735220607. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY/NAVAL
Over 70 percent of the earth is covered by water, and over 90 percent of the world’s trade is conveyed by ship, which makes the oceans a whole lot more important to global movement and geopolitics than many people realize. Who better to explain the role in human history our sloshing, rocking waterways and their key importance to current U.S. policy than Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral, former commander of NATO, and currently head of the Fletcher School for Diplomacy?

 

 

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.