Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 1: Antiterrorist Measures, a Kidnapping in Somalia, and Other Current Concerns

Apuzzo, Matt & Adam Goldman. Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and the Most Dangerous Terror Plot Since 9/11. Touchstone: S. & S. Sept. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781476727936. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476727950. POLITICAL SCIENCE
Investigative reporters for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, Apuzzo and Goldman shared the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for their series on the New York Police Department’s clandestine spying on American Muslims. Here they expand on their reporting to give us a better understanding of what America’s counterterrorist efforts have and haven’t accomplished. While the NYPD’s spy program did not pay off and angered many when it was revealed, the joint NYPD/FBI tracking of Najibullah Zazi over the 48 tense hours detailed here led to his arrest for plans to bomb the New York City subway system. Important facts; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Buchan, James. Days of Gold: The Revolution in Iran and Its Consequences. S & S. Sept. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9781416597773. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781416597827. HISTORY
For 12 years a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, Buchan was studying in Iran at the time of the 1979 revolution. Here he draws on Iranian records, memoirs, and newspaper reports (he is fluent in Persian) to explain why the revolution came about, how the Ayatollah Khomeini became its leader, and what the consequences are in a volatile Middle East today. Note that Buchan is an award-winning novelist as well as an author of nonfiction, so expect vivid characterization. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Butler, Katy. Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Scribner. Sept. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781451641974. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451641998. MEMOIR/MEDICINE
In the 1950s, scientists invented equipment that has helped prolong lives—and has often led to slow, painful, dehumanizing deaths. Award-winning science writer Butler knows, having wrestled with doctors unwilling to disable the pacemaker that was allowing her father’s heart “to outlive his brain,” as she puts it. After his death, her mother refused open-heart surgery and died on her own terms. Butler here expands her celebrated New York Times Magazine piece to examine how technology, medicine, and commerce have changed our way of death. Updating Sherwin Nuland’s How We Die, with a personal perspective; with a 75,000-copy first printing and a five-city tour to Denver, New York, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Dowsett Johnston, Ann. Drink: The Secret World of Women and Alcohol. HarperWave: HarperCollins. Sept. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780062241795. $27.99. SOCIAL SCIENCE/SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Along with huge strides in education, employment, and basic rights over the last decade, women worldwide are experiencing strides of another, less fortunate sort; risky drink has increased to epidemic proportions among women and girls. Five-time National Magazine Award winner Dowsett Johnston offers the facts—rates of alcoholism among American women have soared more than 50 percent over the last ten years, for instance, and heavy drinking has doubled for British women over the last 20 years—while also disclosing her own struggle with alcohol. An urgent concern; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Lindhout, Amanda & Sara Corbett. A House in the Sky. Scribner. Sept. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781451645606. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781451645620. MEMOIR/POLITICAL SCIENCE
At age 18, Lindhout left behind a tough upbringing in Alberta, Canada, to travel the world, backpacking through Latin America and Asia and eventually launching a career as a TV reporter. In 2008, a few days after landing in Mogadishu, Somalia, to report on fighting there, she was abducted with photojournalist Nigel Brennan and held in chains for 15 months. Here, she explains how she survived by imagining that she was in “a house in the sky” looking down on her captive self while also examining the motives of her captors. Upbeat ending: after her release, she founded an organization to help the Somali people. With a 150,000-copy first printing and seven-city tour to Boston, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

McDonald, Duff. The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business. S. & S. Setp. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9781439190975. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781439190999. BUSINESS
Founded in 1926, the powerfully influential management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. helped create the bar code and reconfigure budgeting as a management tool but also contributed to the debacles that were General Motors and Enron. Financial journalist Duff, now associated with Fortune and the New York Observer, here considers how McKinsey consultants have facilitated the restructuring of major American firms—and what the consequences are. A wake-up call? With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Shyamalan, M. Night. Schooled: The Five Keys to Closing America’s Education Gap. S. & S. Sept. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781476716459. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476716473. EDUCATION
Who is director/screenwriter/producer Shyamalan to be talking about education? In fact, while scouting locations in Philadelphia, he was shocked at the difference between two schools he visited—one student-friendly and the other with barred windows and locked classroom doors—and became deeply involved in educational reform. Here, drawing on consultations with experts, he highlights 50 high-achieving schools in poor neighborhoods and explains what they have in common: longer hours, a smaller student body, data-driven instruction, leaders immersed in teaching, and a means of identifying the best teachers. An important topic, and the author’s reputation will bring readers.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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.