Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Kennedy & Lincoln

Kennedy, Caroline. Rose Kennedy’s Family Album: From the Fitzgerald Kennedy Private Collection, 1878–1946. Grand Central. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781455544806. $40. PHOTO ESSAY
Dating from 1878 through 1946, the 400-plus photographs in this volume are never-before-seen images drawn from the private collection of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, showing her growing family in its most intimate moments right up until the launch of John F. Kennedy’s career. Caroline Kennedy provides commentary and will promote; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

Peraino, Kevin. Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power. Crown. Oct. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780307887207. $26. HISTORY
To track President Abraham Lincoln’s emergence as a statesman on the world scene, veteran journalist Peraino looks at six key factors: Lincoln’s concern as a young congressman with the conduct of the Mexican war; his conflicts as President with William Seward over control of the State Department, Lord Palmerston during the Trent crisis of 1861, and Napoleon III over the French occupation of Mexico; his ongoing interest in learning to shape public opinion; and, after his assassination, John Hay’s efforts to define his legacy (see Joshua Zeitz’s Lincoln’s Boys, previewed below, for more on Hay). Upscale, with academic as well as library marketing.

Sabato, Larry J. The Kennedy Half-Century. Bloomsbury USA, dist. by Macmillan. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781620402801. $28. HISTORY
In an anniversary year focusing on John F. Kennedy’s life and assassination, Sabato, founder and director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, takes a different tack. He explores Kennedy’s influence on policies and politics in the half-century after his death, his continuing hold on the public and the media, and the consequences for his nine presidential successors—none of whom can beat him in current Gallup polls. Look for the related PBS documentary in the fall.

Sandler, Martin W., ed. The Letters of John F. Kennedy. Bloomsbury Pr., dist. by St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781608192717. $30. HISTORY
Originally scheduled for August 2013 and previewed on February 11, this volume is drawn from more than two million letters on file at the Kennedy Presidential Library and includes correspondence with Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr., John Wayne, Nikita Khrushchev, Ngo Dinh Diem, and even a young John Kerry—how timely is that? Look for some facsimiles and archival photographs; Sandler is a former U.S. history professor with five Emmys to his name, so he should have an eye for what’s striking.

Stoll, Ira. JFK, Conservative. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780547585987. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780547586007. HISTORY
Kennedy a conservative? So argues Stoll, a journalist (most recently as editor of and author (Samuel Adams: A Life). Stoll seeks to make his case by pointing to Kennedy’s concern with battling communism, which led to military buildup, and growing the economy, which led to tax cuts, curtailed domestic spending, and a bit push for free trade. This will surely raise debate—and hackles. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Zeitz, Joshua. Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, And the War for Lincoln’s Image. Viking. Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780670025664. $29.95. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY
Official secretaries to President Abraham Lincoln, John Hay and John Nicolay talked war strategy with him, served as his guests at the theater, and were present at such earthshaking events as the Gettysburg Address; their postwar biography has contributed largely to our understanding of Lincoln the man and the politician. Zeitz, who has taught American history and politics at Cambridge and Princeton, draws on diaries, memoirs, and letters to tell the story of this three-way friendship and the efforts of Hay and Nicolay to shape Lincoln’s legacy. Hang onto your hats; this might change our view of the humbly born man turned glorious leader.


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.