Book cover of Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad by Matthew Delmont
History

Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad

Over one million Black men and women served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home. Without their crucial contributions to the war effort, the United States could not have won the war. And yet the stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the “Good War” fought by the “Greatest Generation.” […Learn More]

Book cover of Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy
Law

Seek and Hide: The Tangled History of the Right to Privacy

An urgent book for today’s privacy wars, and essential reading on how the courts have–for centuries–often protected privileged men’s rights at the cost of everyone else’s.

Should everyone have privacy in their personal lives? Can privacy exist in a public place? Is there a right to be left alone even in the United States? You may be startled to realize that the original framers were sensitive to the importance of   privacy interests relating to sexuality and intimate life, but mostly just for powerful and privileged (and usually white) men.  […Learn More]

Book cover of Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution's Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction by David George Haskell
Biological Sciences

Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction

A lyrical exploration of the diverse sounds of our planet, the creative processes that produced these marvels, and the perils that sonic diversity now faces

We live on a planet alive with song, music, and speech. David Haskell explores how these wonders came to be. In rain forests shimmering with insect sound and swamps pulsing with frog calls we learn about evolution’s creative powers. From birds in the Rocky Mountains and on the streets of Paris, we discover how animals learn their songs and adapt to new environments. […Learn More]

Book cover of Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace by Christopher Blattman
History

Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace

Despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine or the fear of another American civil war, most of the time wars don’t happen, and of the millions of hostile rivalries worldwide, only a fraction erupt into violence. At this moment of crisis in world affairs, this necessary book from a seasoned peacebuilder and acclaimed expert in the field lays out the root causes and remedies for war and explain the reasons why conflict wins over compromise; and how peacemakers can turn the tides once conflict threatens to or becomes war. Its message could not be more urgent right now. […Learn More]

Book cover of Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945 by Richard Overy
History

Blood and Ruins: The Last Imperial War, 1931-1945

Richard Overy sets out in Blood and Ruins to recast the way in which we view the Second World War and its origins and aftermath. As one of Britain’s most decorated and respected World War II historians, he argues that this was the “last imperial war,” with almost a century-long lead-up of global imperial expansion, which reached its peak in the territorial ambitions of Italy, Germany and Japan in the 1930s and early 1940s, before descending into the largest and costliest war in human history and the end, after 1945, of all territorial empires. […Learn More]

Book cover of American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaser
Politics & Social Science

American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. […Learn More]

Book cover of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker
Health and Psychology

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters

Can reading a book make you more rational? Can it help us understand why there is so much irrationality in the world? Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now (Bill Gates’s “new favorite book of all time”) answers all the questions here

Today humanity is reaching new heights of scientific understanding–and also appears to be losing its mind. How can a species that developed vaccines for Covid-19 in less than a year produce so much fake news, medical quackery, and conspiracy theorizing? […Learn More]

Book cover of Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages by Dan Jones
Europe

Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages

When the once-mighty city of Rome was sacked by barbarians in 410 and lay in ruins, it signaled the end of an era–and the beginning of a thousand years of profound transformation. In a gripping narrative bursting with big names—from Sts Augustine and Attila the Hun to the Prophet Muhammad and Eleanor of Aquitaine—Dan Jones charges through the history of the Middle Ages. Powers and Thrones takes readers on a journey through an emerging Europe, the great capitals of late Antiquity, as well as the influential cities of the Islamic West, and culminates in the first European voyages to the Americas. […Learn More]

Book cover of Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy by Nathaniel Philbrick
Biography & Autobiography

Travels with George: In Search of Washington and His Legacy

Does George Washington still matter? Bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick argues for Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through all thirteen former colonies, which were now an unsure nation. Travels with George marks a new first-person voice for Philbrick, weaving history and personal reflection into a single narrative. […Learn More]