From Lincoln’s Gamble to Eichmann Before Jerusalem | History Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

Brewster, Todd. Lincoln’s Gamble: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Course of the Civil War. Scribner. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781451693867. $27. HISTORY
Don E. Ackerman Director of Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West brewsterPoint, Brewster chronicles the six months from July 12, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln first asserted that he would free the slaves, to January 1, 1863, when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Apparently, he agonized, and Brewster debates whether he finally signed through will, accident, or the push of history. With a four-city tour to New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and in Connecticut.

Langguth, A.J. After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace. S. & S. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451617320. $28. HISTORY
As Langguth shows, reconciling North and South after the Civil War was rather like putting together shattered Humpty Dumpty; Reconstruction was dead by the late 1880s, with the South effectively isolated and freed slaves effectively disenfranchised for another century. The fourth book in an American history series begun by Langguth in 1988 with Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution.

Roberts, Sam. A History of New York in 101 Objects. S. & S. Sept. 2014. 160p. ISBN 9781476728773. $32.50. HISTORY
Quick, what city is represented by the following: a conductor’s baton, bagels from a deli, and beads from an African American burial ground, not to mention Checker cabs and the Automat vending machine? Roberts—appropriately, urban affairs correspondent for the New York Times—made a list of 50 objects that exemplified Gotham for a feature article; then, with suggestions from readers, expanded the list to 101 objects for this big, four-color book.

Rosen, R.D. Such Good Girls: The Journey of the Holocaust’s Hidden Child Survivors. Harper. Sept. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780062297105. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062297129. lrg. prnt. HISTORYrosenrd
Of the one in ten Jewish children who survived the Holocaust, most did so because they were in hiding. Rosen’s investigation into his own ethnic history led him to these survivors, whose plight he tells through the stories of three girls. Two of them, psychologist Flora Hogman and psychotherapist Carla Lessing, have been instrumental in the study and treatment of hidden child survivors. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Stangneth, Bettina. Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. Knopf. Sept. 2014. 608p. tr. from German by Ruth Martin. ISBN 9780307959676. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780307959683. HISTORY
Defending himself during his 1960 trial in Jerusalem after his capture by the Mossad, Adolf Eichmann said he was just a bureaucrat following orders; others called him “Manager of the Holocaust.” German scholar Stangneth draws on newly discovered materials to show him as a manipulator with a talent for reinventing himself even as he maintained ties with National Socialists worldwide following the collapse of the Third Reich. Revisionist thinking; the publisher is hoping that this book will get big attention.

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.