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

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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 in the Pentagon, Bardenwerper tells the morally complex story of 12 American soldiers given […]

Politics, Sports, & Otis Redding | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 5

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Gould, Jonathan. Otis Redding: An Unfinished Life. Crown Archetype. May 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780307453945. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780307453969. Downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Otis Redding’s landmark performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival—and with the last year of his tragically short life—this book investigates the contributions of a […]

Franken, Sidibe, Tambor, & More | Memoir Previews, May 2017, Pt. 4

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Falcone, Ben. Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours. Dey Street: HarperCollins. May 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780062473622. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062473608. MEMOIR The actor and writer/director of The Boss and Tammy and husband of Melissa McCarthy, with whom he is producing the comedy pilot Nobodies, Falcone shares stories both […]

Down on Earth, Up in Space | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 3

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Al-Khalili, Jim, ed. Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. Picador. May 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781250109637. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781250109651. SCIENCE/ESSAYS Life on Mars (or anywhere else in the universe)? This book is not a pop-pulp answer to that perennial question. A highly regarded British theoretical physicist with 90,000 Twitter followers […]

Making History | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Allison, Graham. Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780544935273. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544935334. POLITICAL SCIENCE/HISTORY Founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has served in both the Reagan and the Clinton administrations and twice won the Pentagon’s highest civilian award, Allison coined the term the […]

Four Key Current Events Titles | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 1

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Attkisson, Sharyl. The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote. Harper. May 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780062468161. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062468185. POLITICAL SCIENCE The smear: it’s the concerted effort of those working in opposition to individuals or ideas to bring them down with ugly depiction—hit stories—based on […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Last of the April 2017 Nonfiction | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Drezner, Daniel. The Ideas Industry. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2017. 344p. ISBN 9780190264604. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE Professor of International Politics at Tufts University and author of such books as The System Worked, Drezner examines the uncomfortable evolution of the public intellectual, once someone who debated issues in an open forum and now more likely someone with […]

Cooks, Rebel Mothers, & Media Stars | Memoir Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

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Andreas, Peter. Rebel Mother: My Childhood Chasing the Revolution. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501124396. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501124457. MEMOIR In the Sixties, conventional housewife Carol Andreas morphed into a radical feminist and Marxist revolutionary, running through numerous husbands and lovers as she sought for and fought for important causes. She took her […]

Of Historical Interest | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

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Carroll, Andrew. My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781594206481. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698192669. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY Creator of the Legacy Project, which collects wartime correspondence, Carroll drew on the project’s archives to assemble two New York Times best-selling anthologies, […]