Gangsters, Feminists, & Brazil | History Previews, Aug. 2018

Anderson, Sam. Boom Town: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis. Crown. Aug. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780804137317. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780804137324. Downloadable. URBAN SOCIOLOGY
A former book critic for New York magazine and currently critic-at-large at the New York Times magazine, Anderson goes in a perhaps unexpected direction with this chronicle of Oklahoma City’s growth from sleepy town to booming metropolis, thanks to folks like Sam Draper, the city’s answer to Robert Moses; Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne; and the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, with its near-championship 2012–13 season.

Chesler, Phyllis. A Politically Incorrect Feminist: Creating a Movement with Bitches, Lunatics, Dykes, Prodigies, Warriors, and Wonder Women. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781250094421. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250094438. HISTORY/FEMINISM
As much memoir as history—psychotherapist/CUNY professor emerita Chesler was one of the leading second-wave feminists about whom she writes here—this work marches us right along with key efforts in 1967–72 regarding economic discrimination, equal rights, violence against women, and more. You get to meet the likes of Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett, and Andrea Dworkin.

Collins, Max Allan & A. Brad Schwartz. Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago. Morrow. Aug. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062441942. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062441966. TRUE CRIME
World-infamous gangster Al Capone and relentless Prohibition agent Eliot Ness get to clash again in the pages of this dual biography, which shows how Chicago was rescued from mob violence in the early 1930s. There are dual authors, too: Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Collins and Schwartz, a doctoral candidate in American history at Princeton and the author of Broadcast Hysteria.

O’Brien, Keith. Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History. Eamon Dolan: Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781328876645. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781328876720. HISTORY
The national air races of the 1920s and 1930s brought cheering crowds—and powerful resistance to women who wanted to join the game. O’Brien, a finalist for the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, shows how five women—high school dropout Florence Klingensmith, Alabama divorcee Ruth Elder, frustrated upper-cruster Ruth Nichols, mother-of-two Louise Thaden, and Amelia Earhart, now the most famous—managed to triumph. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Schwarcz, Lilia M. & Heloisa M. Starling. Brazil: A Biography. Farrar. Aug. 2018. 688p. ISBN 9780374280499. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780374710705. HISTORY
Anthropology professor at the University of São Paulo and visiting professor in Latin American studies at Princeton, Schwarcz (The Emperor’s Beard) is here joined by Universidade Federale history professor Starling (Memories of Brazil) for a thoroughgoing chronicle of Brazil from European colonization to the 2016 Olympics. The focus: Brazil’s ongoing effort to facilitate the mixing of races and manage its postcolonial future.

Tooze, Adam. Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World. Viking. Aug. 2018. 704p. ISBN 9780670024933. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780525558804. ECONOMIC HISTORY
A Columbia professor and Wolfson Prize winner, Tooze looks at the consequences of the 2008 economic crisis, which not only reconfigured financial markets worldwide but led to political destabilization, with war in Ukraine, upheaval in Greece, Brexit, and more. The big questions: Did it have to happen? And does a ripple effect continue?

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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