The Second Coming of the KKK; The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon. W.W. Norton, 2017. A focus on immigrants and Roman Catholics, and anyone who was not considered sufficiently Christian.
The Revolution of Robert Kennedy; From Power to Protest after JFK by John Bohrer. Bloomsbury, 2017. The five years from John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and Bobby’s in June 1968.
Kennedy and King; The President, the Pastor, and the Battle Over Civil Rights by Steven Levingston. Hachette, 2017. Two very different kinds of power, the oratory of a preacher and the authority of elite privilege.
Fields of Battle; Pearl Harbor, the Rose Bowl, and the Boys Who Went to War by Brian Curtis. Flatiron Books, 2017 paper. In the wake of Pearl Harbor and fearing further Japanese attacks on California, the 1942 Rose Bowl was moved from Pasadena to Duke University. Many of the players and coaches subsequently entered the military and went off to serve their country in a world at war.
Pale Rider; The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney. Public Affairs, 2017. A huge loss of life, greater even than that of the deadly last year of the Great War.
Hollywood’s Spies; The Undercover Surveillance of Nazis in Los Angeles by Laura Rosenzweig. New York University Press, 2017. In the 1930s Jewish moguls in Hollywood began to take seriously German-American support for insurgent Nazism in the US and to use their position to alarm the nation.
The Gifted Generation; When Government Was Good by David Goldfield. Bloomsbury Press, 2017. Those were the days: the years that followed WWII, including the presidencies of Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson. Things got accomplished.
Unshackling America; How the War of 1812 Truly Ended the American Revolution by Willard Randall. St. Martin’s, 2017. Argues that the war of 1812 was not a discrete conflict but rather the culmination of a long struggle for US economic independence from Britain.
Rising Star; The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow. Morrow, 2017. Obama’s political story up to his 2008 election to the presidency.
Losing an Enemy; Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy by Trita Parsi. Yale University Press, 2017. President Obama’s deal with Iran looks to be surviving several tests.
The Last Republicans; Inside the Extraordinary Relationship between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush by Mark Updegrove. Harper, 20\17. A portrait of this political family and how its brand of politics has been transformed in the Trump era. What about Barbara?