Must-Read American History, Infamous Verdicts, plus Civil War Narratives & More | Social Sciences Reviews

redstarBaptist, Edward E. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. Basic: Perseus. Sept. 2014. 512p. photos. notes. ISBN 9780465002962. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780465044702. HIST

thehalfnevertold081814Baptist (Creating an Old South) has written a book that truly deepens and broadens our understanding of slavery. Through an incredible amount of detail and the use of an array of primary sources, the author argues that the South’s use of slave labor in cotton production was the primary factor in the United States becoming a leading modern industrial nation. He tells his story more or less chronologically but structures each chapter around a theme derived from a part or aspect of the human body: blood, head, arms, breath, and so on. Made up of two distinct parts, the book opens with seven chapters that cover the period from 1783 to 1837 and focus on the growth of slavery, delineating what life was like for slaves during this period. The final four chapters, which run from 1836 through the aftermath of the Civil War, detail the entrenchment of slavery and the political struggles over its continuation and expansion—and consequently focus less on the lives of victims. ­VERDICT Professional historians and lay readers will pore over this book for years to come. ­Essential for all readers interested in American history and the history of slavery.—Derek Sanderson, Mount Saint Mary Coll. Lib., Newburgh, NY

redstarGabriel, Richard. Acquittal: An Insider Reveals the Stories and Strategies Behind Today’s Most Infamous Verdicts. Berkley. 2014. 336p. index. ISBN 9780425269718. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101637173. LAW

acquittal081814Prominent jury-selection consultant ­Gabriel (coauthor, Jury Selection Strategy & Science) has written a fascinating book that illuminates the arcane process of successful jury selection. Combining perspectives from law and psychology, the author is able to profile prospective jurors and advise attorneys when they are selecting jury panels for their trials. Drawing upon high-profile cases for which he has served as consultant, Gabriel reveals strategies he has used to predict jury behavior, so that acquittal is a possibility—even when “celebrity” defendants have already been tried in the “court of public opinion.” He provides an insider’s view of selection and trial strategy in infamous cases with defendants such as O.J. Simpson, Heidi Fleiss (the Hollywood Madam), Phil Spector, and Casey Anthony. In each instance, Gabriel tailored his profiles and recommendations to help create a jury most favorable to the defendant. VERDICT Remarkably, this book will intrigue professional and lay readers alike. Indeed, it should be required reading for trial advocacy classes in law school. Perfect for readers of James D. Zirin’s The Mother Court: Tales of Cases That Mattered in America’s Greatest Trial Court.—Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown

redstarShenk, Joshua Wolf. Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2014. 368p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780544031593. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544032026. PSYCH

While many books purport to explain or evoke creativity in powersoftwo081814individuals, author and essayist Shenk (Lincoln’s Melancholy) explores the dynamics of creative pairs—how such partnerships are formed, how different types of duos collaborate, and how the relationships sometimes end. He vividly describes such well-known pairs as John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak, Matt Parker and Trey Stone (the creators of South Park), and directors Ethan and Joel Coen but also includes people who are usually considered to be individual creators, such as Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo, and choreographer George Balanchine and dancer Suzanne Farrell. Under tight deadline to finish the book, the author writes in the epilog that he considers himself and his editor Eamon Dolan as a creative pairing, despite living on opposite sides of the country and communicating infrequently. VERDICT This wonderful book sheds new light on an overworked topic, and the numerous anecdotes make it a pleasure to read. Anyone with any interest in psychological issues of creativity or in cultural history will tear through it. [See Prepub Alert, 2/24/14.]—Mary Ann Hughes, Shelton, WA

Civil War narratives

redstarAdams, Michael C.C. Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War. Johns Hopkins. 2014. 292p. notes. index. ISBN 9781421412214. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781421412221. HIST
livinghell081814Adams (Echoes of War) eschews the celebratory patinas of Civil War memorials to reveal the extremely dark sides of the war. Using soldiers’ accounts, the author describes the misery, gore, and futility—“the real war”—that poet Walt Whitman omitted in his works. Adams describes it all: the disease and desperation that led soldiers to have mental and physical breakdowns, the life-altering injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by those on the front lines, the ravages and rapes of civilians by invading and retreating armies, and much more. Insisting that we have glorified the war too much and, thus, betrayed history, Adams aims to right the course with his honesty. He also ponders the questions of how and why we have come to adore the Civil War and have, as a result, minimized its terrible truths. VERDICT This essential book gives soldiers their due and presents the realities of war in a way few have dared. Ideal for anyone interested in military history.—Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph’s Univ., Philadelphia

Gwynne, S.C. Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson. Scribner. Sept. 2014. 688p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781451673289. $35. HIST

On the eve of the Civil War, Thomas J. Jackson was a middling professor at the Virginia Military Institute. By June 1862, “Stonewall” Jackson was widely regarded as one of the Confederacy’s greatest generals. Gwynne (Empire of the Summer Moon) explores Jackson’s meteoric rise through the Confederate ranks via his military actions, most notably at First Manassas and during his legendary 1862 Shenandoah Valley campaign. Attention is also given to his failings, such as his inaction during much of Robert E. Lee’s Seven Days campaign. Particularly noteworthy is the author’s exploration of the manner in which Jackson’s foibles, including his constant refusal to share critical information with subordinates, hindered his capacity as a leader. Gwynne also illustrates how Jackson’s shortcomings were overshadowed by his audacity and brilliance in the heat of battle. To the Confederacy, his presence in the field fostered a feeling of invincibility, which is why his death by friendly fire proved so devastating to the South’s war effort. VERDICT This popular history is recommended for all readers interested in the Civil War. Academic librarians should also strongly consider James I. Robertson’s Stonewall Jackson and Peter Cozzens’s Shenandoah 1862.—John R. Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY


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Read Harder. McSweeney’s. Sept. 2014. 336p. ed. by Ed Park & Heidi Julavits. ISBN 9781940450186. pap. $18. COMM


Cross, Gary S. & Robert N. Proctor. Packaged Pleasures: How Technology and Marketing Revolutionized Desire. Univ. of Chicago. Oct. 2014. 336p. notes. index. ISBN 9780226121277. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780226147383. BUS

Düppe, Till & E. Roy Weintraub. Finding Equilibrium: Arrow, Debreu, McKenzie and the Problem of Scientific Credit. Princeton Univ. 2014. 296p. photos. bibliog. ISBN 9780691156644. $39.50; ebk. ISBN 9781400850129. ECON

Gogerty, Nick. The Nature of Value: How To Invest in the Adaptive Economy. Columbia Univ. (Business Sch. Publishing). 2014. 320p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780231162449. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780231535212. ECON

Malone, Michael S. The Intel Trinity: How Robert Noyce, Gordon Moore, and Andy Grove Built the World’s Most Important Company. Harper Business. 2014. 560p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9780062226761. $34.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062226785. BUS


Arment, Ben. Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love. Portfolio. Aug. 2014. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9781591847298. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698160408. CAREERS

Boog, Jason. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age—from Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between. Touchstone. 2014. 336p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781476749792. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476749815. ED

Brown, Peter C. & others. Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Belknap: Harvard Univ. 2014. 336p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674729018. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780674419384. ED

Green, Elizabeth. Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How To Teach It to Everyone). Norton. Aug. 2014. 384p. notes. index. ISBN 9780393081596. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393244151. ED


Crain, Esther. The New-York Historical Society’s New York City in 3D: The Gilded Age. Black Dog & Leventhal. 2014. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 9781579129576. pap. $29.95. HIST

Curvin, Robert. Inside Newark: Decline, Rebellion, and the Search for Transformation. Rutgers Univ. 2014. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780813565712. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780813565729. HIST

redstarFarquhar, Michael. Secret Lives of the Tsars: Three Centuries of Autocracy, Debauchery, Betrayal, Murder, and Madness from Romanov Russia. Random. 2014. 368p. bibliog. ISBN 9780812979053. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780812985788. HIST

King, Charles. Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth of Modern Istanbul. Norton. Sept. 2014. 480p. photos. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393089141. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393245783. HIST

redstarLeoGrande, William M. & Peter Kornbluh. Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden

History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana. Univ. of North Carolina. Oct. 2014. 592p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781469617633. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781469617640. HIST

Lovell, Julia. The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams, and the Making of Modern China. Overlook. Aug. 2014. 480p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781468308952. $35. HIST

Pitts, Mike. Digging for Richard III: The Search for the Lost King. Thames & Hudson. Nov. 2014. 208p. photos. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9780500252000. $29.95. HIST

Robbins, James S. The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero. Regnery.

2014. 550p. notes. ISBN 9781621572091. $29.99. HIST

Sardar, Ziauddin. Mecca: The Sacred City. Bloomsbury USA. Oct. 2014. 448p. notes. index. ISBN 9781620402665. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781620402689. HIST

redstarSnow, Peter. When Britain Burned the White House: The 1814 Invasion of Washington. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2014. 320p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250048288. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466848948. HIST

Thomas, Lynnell L. Desire and Disaster in New Orleans: Tourism, Race, and Historical Memory. Duke Univ. Aug. 2014. 272p. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780822357148. $84.95; pap. ISBN 9780822357285. $23.95. HIST

Van Reybrouck, David. Congo: The Epic History of a People. Ecco: HarperCollins. 2014. 656p. tr. from Dutch by Sam Garrett. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062200112. $29.99. HIST

Law & Crime

Halber, Deborah. The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases. S. & S. 2014. 240p. notes. ISBN 9781451657586. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451657609. CRIME

Phelps, M. William. The Killing Kind. Kensington. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9781617734458. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781617734465. CRIME

Stewart, Gary L. with Susan Mustafa. The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father. . . and Finding the Zodiac Killer. Harper. 2014. 384p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062313164. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062313188. CRIME

Swanson, Doug J. Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker. Viking. Aug. 2014. 368p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780670026036. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698163508. CRIME

Political Science

The Arab Uprisings Explained: New Contentious Politics in the Middle East. Columbia Univ. (Studies in Middle East Politics). Sept. 2014. 400p. ed. by Marc Lynch. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780231158848. $90; pap. ISBN 9780231158855. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780231537490. INT AFFAIRS

Clinton, Hillary Rodham. Hard Choices. S. & S. 2014. 656p. photos. index. ISBN 9781476751443. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476751450. POL SCI

Lichter, S. Robert & others. Politics Is a Joke! How TV Comedians Are Remaking Political Life. Basic: Perseus. 2014. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813347172. pap. $32; ebk. ISBN 9780813347189. POL SCI

Morris, Sylvia Jukes. Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce. Random. 2014. 752p. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780679457114. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780804179690. POL SCI

Rhode, Deborah L. What Women Want: An Agenda for the Women’s Movement. Oxford Univ. Sept. 2014. 240p. notes. index. ISBN 9780199348275. $29.95. POL SCI


Leslie, Ian. Curious: The Desire To Know and Why Your Future Depends on It. Basic: Perseus. Aug. 2014. 224p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465079964. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780465056941. PSYCH

Levitin, Daniel J. The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload. Dutton. Aug. 2014. 512p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780525954187. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698157224. PSYCH

Social Science

Chang, Jeff. Who We Be: The Colorization of America. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 416p. photos. notes. ISBN 9780312571290. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466854659. SOC SCI

Collins, Craig K. Thunder in the Mountains: A Personal Journey Through America’s Gun Culture. Lyons: Globe Pequot. Oct. 2014. 272p. bibliog. ISBN 9781493003853. $24.95. SOC SCI

Daniels, Cora & John L. Jackson, Jr. Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion. Atria. Sept. 2014. 320p. notes. ISBN 9781476739113. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476739137. SOC SCI

Frank, Walter. Law and the Gay Rights Story: The Long Search for Equal Justice in a Divided Democracy. Rutgers Univ. Aug. 2014. 240p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813568713. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780813568720. SOC SCI

Gioielli, Robert R. Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis: Baltimore, St. Louis, Chicago. Temple Univ. (Urban Life, Landscape, & Policy). 2014. 232p. notes. ISBN 9781439904657. $64.50. SOC SCI

Lurie, Alison (text) & Karen Sung (illus.). The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us. Delphinium. Aug. 2014. 320p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781883285609. $24.95. SOC SCI

Ralph, Laurence. Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago. Univ. of Chicago. Oct. 2014. 256p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780226032689. $60; pap. ISBN 9780226032719. $20; ebk. ISBN 9780226032856. SOC SCI

Thorpe, Helen. Soldier Girls: The Battles of Three Women at Home and at War. Scribner. Aug. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9781451668100. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781451668124. SOC SCI

Travel & Geography

Hill, Geoff. In Clancy’s Boots: The Greatest Ever Round-the-World Motorbike Adventure. Black Staff. Sept. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9780856409134. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9780856402487. TRAV

Keahey, John. Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region’s Unknown Places. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. 2014. 320p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250024312. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250024329. TRAV

redstarPisani, Elizabeth. Indonesia, Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation. Norton. 2014. 304p. maps. ISBN 9780393088588. $26.95. TRAV

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