The Templars, McKinley, & More | History Previews, Sept. 2017

Conant, Jennet. Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist. S. & S. Sept. 2017. 640p. ISBN 9781476730882. $29; ebk. ISBN 9781476730929. BIOGRAPHY
Conant supervised the production of poison gas during World War I, insisted on open conantadmissions as Harvard president, championed U.S. entrance into World War II as an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt, served as administrative director of the Manhattan Project, then campaigned mightily for international control of atomic weapons and ended up as President Eisenhower’s high commissioner to Germany, defining this country’s Cold War policy. That’s some life, told by his daughter, the New York Times best-selling author of The Irregulars.

Dean, Josh. The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes To Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History. Dutton. Sept. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781101984437. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101984444. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY
After the February 1968 sinking of the Soviet nuclear-armed submarine K-129 in the Pacific, the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology wanted so badly to retrieve it that it had a deep-sea drilling company build the most expensive ship ever and claimed that eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes would be using it to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. Sneaky business; the Soviets never knew.

Gregory, Dick. The Most Defining Moments in Black History According to Dick Gregory. Amisted: HarperCollins. Sept. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780062448699. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062448729. HISTORY
Enduring comedian Gregory is black history; he knew Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers, and his brand of satiric racial commentary foreshadowed the likes of Larry Wilmore, W. Kamau Bell, and other popular black comics today. Here he reflects on 100 key events in black history, from the Middle Passage to the Great Migration to Black Lives Matter. With a hathaway30,000-copy first printing.

Hathaway, Oona A. & Scott J. Shapiro. The Internationalists: How a Radical Plan To Outlaw War Remade the World. S. & S. Sept. 2017. 608p. ISBN 9781501109867. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501109881. HISTORY
From Hathaway, Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, and Shapiro, the Charles F. Southmayd Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at Yale Law School: a study of the long-term consequences of the 1928 Peace Pact, ratified by nearly every state in the world, which effectively outlawed war. World War II followed a decade later, but the authors argue that the pact established a global order in effect—and still effective—today.

Henriques, Diana B. A First-Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History. Holt. Sept. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9781627791649. $32; ebk. ISBN 9781627791656. ECONOMIC HISTORY
A George Polk winner, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and New York Times best-selling author (The Wizard of Lies), Henriques brings strong skills to bear on her investigation of Black Monday, October 19, 1987, Wall Street’s worst day ever; the market fell 22.6 percent. Here she shows the seven years’ worth of missteps leading to that fateful day and how its lessons were ignored right up to the 2008 crash.

Jones, Dan. The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors. Viking. Sept. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780525428305. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698186439. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY
An award-winning historian of the Middle Ages known for his New York Times best sellers The Plantagenets and The Wars of the Roses, Jones chronicles the Knights Templar, the jonesdanorder of holy warriors established in 1119 to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. They flourished for two centuries before being denounced as heretics and destroyed. With a six-city tour; Jones is a consultant on Knightfall, a ten-part A&E program on the Templars coming in 2018.

Merry, Robert W. President McKinley: Architect of the American Century. S. & S. Sept. 2017. 624p. ISBN 9781451625448. $32.50; ebk. ISBN 9781451625462. BIOGRAPHY
Editor of the National Interest, veteran journalist Merry resurrects the reputation of President William McKinley, lost in the succeeding bluster of Theodore Roosevelt’s administration. In fact, McKinley presided successfully over the Spanish-American War, acquired Hawaii and the Philippines, initiated the Open Door policy regarding China, cemented the U.S.-British “special relationship,” and upheld the gold standard, making the United States an imperial power.

Peraino, Kevin. A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman, and the Birth of Modern China, 1949. Crown. Sept. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780307887238. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780307887252. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL
Drawing on recently declassified CIA documents, as well as Chinese and Russian sources, award-winning journalist Peraino investigates a tough year for the Truman administration: 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Communist forces stormed through China, pushing U.S. ally Chiang Kai-shek to the island of Taiwan. Peraino tracks America’s radically changed foreign policy in the aftermath, which had implications for the ensuing the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Peres, Shimon. No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel. Custom House: HarperCollins. Sept. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780062561442. HISTORICAL
Peres, who left Poland for Palestine at age 11, played an important role in the 1948 war establishing the state of Israel, served as president and twice as prime minister, and with Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize following the Oslo Accords. Completed just weeks before his fatal stroke, this work looks back at Israeli history and forward to what it will take to establish peace in the Middle East. With 100,000-copy first printing.

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.

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