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History & Politics

The Soul of America by Jon Meacham

I wish I could escape from this time of upheaval and massive discontent by reading books that are non-political or historical, but really, I find more solace by immersing myself in information. (It makes me think the bad guys aren’t getting away with it.) The Soul of America, which chronicles our nation’s struggles from revolutionary times to the current day, is right up my alley, while also offering a beacon of hope. “Gripping and inspiring…[Meacham] makes the resonant argument that America has faced division before—and not only survived it but thrived.” —Newsday - S.B.

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The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399589829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - April 30th, 2019

Surprise, Kill, Vanish by Annie Jacobsen

This is my favorite type of book: fast paced, intelligent, and makes me exclaim, “Ohh, nooo!” out loud while reading it. It’s history from the angles you weren’t meant to see, making the text that much more alarming. Reading about the acceleration from covert training for WWII offense to the more recent happenings in the Middle East was equal parts horror and fascination. Already a fan of her writings, the amount of work Jacobsen (Area 51) put into this book is astounding. The clandestine nature of it all meant she went far beyond traditional research, and that effort shows in the details. - Rachel

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Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780316441438
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 14th, 2019

Sea People by Christina Thompson

From meteorology to mystery and mythology, this book has it all. Although the title alludes to the history of a set of islands covering a small fraction of our planet’s surface, Christina Thompson sails the globe in this thrilling exploration of the driven humans who chanced upon the pacific islands. Perhaps one of the most touching points is Thompson’s personal connection to Polynesian society in her Maori husband. - R.H.

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Sea People: The Puzzle of Polynesia Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062060877
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Published: Harper - March 12th, 2019

Doing Justice by Preet Bharara

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book by the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who oversaw cases involving terrorism, corruption, and organized crime (among others) and was famously fired by President Trump. Preet Bharara has written a fascinating, compelling, and surprisingly readable book. I was really taken in by the tales from his legal career (including tragic and triumphant cases) and by the insight into what prosecutors must consider when prosecuting and crime and recommending sentences. From the importance of a fair and open justice system to regrets in Bharara’s career, Doing Justice is a page-turner. - S.B.

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Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780525521129
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Published: Knopf - March 19th, 2019

A More Beautiful and Terrible History by Jeanne Theoharis

Theoharis established herself as the writer of the long civil rights era (extending our views of the historical forces and outcomes of the civil rights movement beyond the small window of the 1960s). In this book she explores how the legacy of civil rights has been reshaped, used, and invoked to paint a fuller picture of national identity and where the struggle for equality is headed. - Clara

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A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780807063484
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Published: Beacon Press - February 12th, 2019

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

Want to understand how the 1% amassed all of their money and power? Want to take power back? Graeber, one of the minds behind Occupy, traces the history of money from the earliest civilizations up to the housing market crash of 2018 and (too big to fail) bail-outs. Graeber introduces new ideas for changing our broken financial system. Viva La Revolution! - Jason

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Debt - Updated and Expanded: The First 5,000 Years Cover Image
$22.99
ISBN: 9781612194196
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Published: Melville House - October 28th, 2014

Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman

I had to get my hands on this after seeing Bregman's clear, assured take-downs of wealth inequality at Davos and on Tucker Carlson. His vision for a modern utopia where technological advancements benefit humans rather than oppress them includes universal basic income, a 15 hour workweek, and open borders. This radical, ambitious, and knowledgeable plan is a must read! - Clara

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Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316471916
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Published: Back Bay Books - March 27th, 2018

Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments by Saidiya Hartman

Written as imagined life narratives, this is the most interesting history book I've read all year. Hartman revisits old sources about urban, black Philadelphia to interpret them through the overlooked eyes of young black women navigating social change at the turn of the 20th century. Her methodology dials in on women’s lived experiences and reads like short stories. Love! - Clara

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Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780393285673
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - February 19th, 2019

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

With poetic irony, Ackerman tells the little-known true story of two zookeepers in 1930s Warsaw, Poland. Their world-view and extraordinary compassion led them to save hundreds of Jews imperiled by the Nazi invasion. This heroic narrative highlights contradictions of vulnerability and strength, good in the face of loss, and the rich compatibility of beauty and sadness. - Kären

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The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780393333060
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 17th, 2008

What You Have Heard is True by Carolyn Forché

My current favorite work of nonfiction, written by one of our best poets. It chronicles in stunning fashion her work in support of the revolutionary movement in El Salvador. Includes some of the stories she told us when she first visited Bookshop in the early 80's. Beautifully written and compelling. - Patrick

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What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525560371
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Published: Penguin Press - March 19th, 2019

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