History, Current Events, & More | Last of the Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2018

Ambinder, Marc. The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983. S. & S. Jul. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781476760377. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476760391. HISTORY
Respected reporter and award-winning television producer Ambinder zeroes in on the nerve-wracking year when Soviet leaders so feared a nuclear strike from America that they put their intercontinental ballistic missiles on a three-minute alert.

D’Souza, Dinesh. Death of a Nation. St. Martin’s. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250163776. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250167828. CD. POLITICAL SCIENCE
One of today’s leading conservatives argues that the Democratic party is destroying the foundations of America, creating a paternalistic culture that recalls the Southern plantations of yore. Now there’s an analogy to ponder.

Fisher, Adam. Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, as Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom. Twelve. Jul. 2018. 512p. ISBN 9781455559022. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781455559015. CD/downloadable. BUSINESS/COMPUTERS
After conducting over 200 in-depth interviews, Fisher offers an insider’s view of Silicon Valley, starting with the advent of the personal computer. Fisher’s journalism has appeared in venues like Wired and MIT Technology Review, and what’s more, he actually grew up in Silicon Valley.

Foy, George Michelsen. Run the Storm: A Savage Hurricane, a Brave Crew, and the Wreck of the SS El Faro. Scribner. Jul. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9781501184895. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501184918. NATURE
In 2015, the monster-size American cargo ship El Faro sank so suddenly in the Bermuda Triangle that a Mayday call wasn’t even sent, with the loss of the entire crew—the greatest U.S. merchant marine shipping disaster since World War II. From the author of Finding North, who holds a U.S. Coast Guard coastal captain’s license.

French, Paul. City of Devils: The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai. Picador. Jul. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250170583. $28. CD. HISTORY
Shanghai-based French, whose Midnight in Peking was a New York Times best seller, tells the story of Jack Riley and Joe Farren, who made their fortunes off the music halls, bars, theaters, slot machines, and all-’round vice that ruled 1930s Shanghai.

Hampton, Dan. Chasing the Demon: Chuck Yeager and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered the Sound Barrier. Morrow. Jul. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062688729. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062688743. lrg. prnt. HISTORY
Author of the New York Times best-selling Viper Pilot and a decorated military pilot well acquainted with flying supersonic fighter jets, Hampton chronicles the U.S. effort to break the sound barrier, starting with the founding of the United States Air Force in 1947 and ending with Capt. Chuck Yeager’s triumph on October 14, 1947.

Hunt, Will. Underground: A Human History of the Worlds Beneath Our Feet. Spiegel & Grau. Jul. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9780812996746. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812996753. Downloadable HISTORY
In a different kind of history, backed by big in-house hopes, grant- and fellowship-worthy Hunt crawls down into deep, dark holes to explore the history, science, and mythology of the caves and catacombs, subway systems and deserted mines that exist beneath our feet.

Lukianoff, Greg & Jonathan Haidt. The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Penguin Pr. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780735224896. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735224902. CD/downloadable.
First Amendment expert Lukianoff and social psychologist Haidt argue that child-centered social attitudes dating back to the 1980s have convinced young people that their feelings are always right, which they say leads not just to failure (as the subtitle has it) but free speech issues on campus and the rising polarization in politics. Bound to stir up talk.

Nussbaum, Martha C. The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis. S. & S. Jul. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781501172496. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501172502. POLITICAL SCIENCE
A contemporary philosopher actually known to the general public, Nussbaum—Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, appointed in the philosophy department and the law school of the University of Chicago—looks at political fragmentation today and argues that politics has always been about emotion. With the world making us feel powerless, everyone is looking for someone to blame.

Raffel, Dawn. The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies. Blue Rider. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780399175749. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698404816. Downloadable. BIOGRAPHY/MEDICAL
A respected writer of fiction and nonfiction who helped launch O, The Oprah Magazine, Raffel tells the question-raising story of Martin Couney, a doctor (reputedly) who fought to save ill-fated babies by placing them in incubators even as he made money showing them at various carnivals and side shows.

Ross, John F. The Promise of the Grand Canyon: John Wesley Powell’s Perilous Journey and His Vision for the American West. Viking. Jul. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780525429876. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698409989. Downloadable. HISTORY
A former editor of American Heritage, Ross chronicles the first successful, white-knuckling expedition down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, led by naturalist/geologist John Wesley Powell, and Powell’s ever-more-timely efforts to address the management and sustainability of the American West.

Rutkow, Eric. The Longest Line on the Map: The United States, the Pan-American Highway, and the Quest To Link the Americas. Scribner. Jul. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9781501103902. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501103926. HISTORY
The longest road in the world, the Pan American Highway barrels down from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. Award-winning Yale historian Rutkow (American Canopy) reconstructs the efforts to build it while considering the long-term consequences for North, Central, and South America.

Scottoline, Lisa & Francesca Serritella. I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses. St. Martin’s. Jul. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781250163059. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250163073. CD. ESSAYS/HUMOR
This best-selling pair returns with the next in the long-running warm and funny series, so grab your rosé-colored glasses and start reading.

Ullah, Haroon. House of Heroin: Inside the Secret Billion-Dollar Narco-Terror Empire That Is Killing America. Morrow. Jul. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780062463999. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062464019. TRUE CRIME
A veteran U.S. State Department official, once a senior adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry and now part of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s policy planning staff, covering the Middle East, counterterrorism, narcotics, and public diplomacy/digital innovation, Ullah takes us into the so-called Muslim Mafia, the organized crime syndicate that controls global opiate production and trafficking. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Vincent, Lynn & Sara Vladic. Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man. S. & S. Jul. 2018. 544p. ISBN 9781501135941. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501135965. CD. HISTORY
Four days after delivering the world’s first atomic bomb to  the U.S. flight crew in the Pacific, the USS Indianapolis was sunk by Japanese torpedoes, with a loss of all but 317 of the 1,196 men on board. US Navy veteran Vincent, a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, and documentary filmmaker Vladic, who’s made an award-winning film on the tragedy, investigate what happened and how the decades-long struggle to exonerate the captain unfolded.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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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