Schlesinger; The Imperial Historian by Richard Aldous. W.W. Norton, 2017. Mostly known for his involvement with the Kennedy White House, Arthur Schlesinger (1917-2007) had an interesting life in his own right.
Playing with Fire; The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics by Lawrence O’Donnell. Penguin, 2017. Seen as an argument between (1) the Kennedy machine after two assassinations, and (2) the traditional Democratic Party.
The Naughty Nineties; The Triumph of the American Libido by David Friend. Twelve, 2017. A sexual history of the 1990s when the Baby Boomers took over Washington, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue. A look at the captains of its cultural wars.
Ali; A Life by Jonathan Eig. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017. “The Best” or so he claimed. But Muhammad Ali was many things at different times of his life. And much eulogized since his death in 2016.
Uncommon People; The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars by David Hepworth. Henry Holt, 2017. Perhaps the age of the rock star is passing; what images have they left. Good hair? Expensive shoes? What had we wanted of them? For them to be larger than life but also like us.
Border Odyssey; Travels along the US/Mexico Divide by Charles Thompson, Jr. University of Texas, 2017 paper. How US border policy has affected those who live in the region, from migrant workers to border patrol agents.
The Long Haul; A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy. Norton, 2016. The major means of transport and their operators.
Drunks; An American History by Christopher Finan. Beacon Press, 2017. The nation’s entanglement with alcohol and its search for sobriety.
The Golden Elixir of the West; Whiskey and the Shaping of America by Sherry Monahan & Jane Perkins, Revised Edition. TwoDot, 2017. This iconic drink and its role in shaping the American west. Distilleries were the microbreweries of their day, cropping up all over the west.