Book Prizes, 2017

How Emotions are Made; The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Barrett. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Pen Americana.

The Butchering At; Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris. Scientific American.

The Greatest Story Ever Told – So Far; Why are we Here? By Lawrence Krauss. Atria Books. Pen Americana.

The Climate Swerve; Reflections on Mind, Hope, and Survival by Robert Lifton . The New Press. Pen Americana.

Growing a Revolution; Bringing Our Soil Back to Life by David Montgomery. W.W. Norton. Pen Americana.

Where the Water Goes; Life and Death Along the Colorado River by David Owen. Riverhead Books. Pen Americana.

No One Cares about Crazy People; The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America by Ron Powers. Hachette. Pen Americana.

The Evolution of Beauty; How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World – And Us by Richard Prum. Doubleday. Pen Americana.

Behave; The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky. Penguin Press. Pen Americana.

Book Prizes, 2017.

Grant by Ron Chernow. Penguin Press. Pen Americana.

Richard Nixon; The Life by John Farrell. Doubleday. Pen Americana.

Chester B. Himes; A Biography by Lawrence Jackson. W.W. Norton. Pen Americana.

You Say to Brick; The Life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Pen Americana.

The Kelloggs; The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Market. Pantheon Press. Pen Americana.

The Far Away Brothers; Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markiham. Crown. Pen Americana.

Housman Country; Into the Heart of England by Peter Parker. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Martin Luther; Renegade and Prophet by Lyndal Roper. Random House. Pen Americana.

Lenin; The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror by Victor Sebestyen Pantheon. Pen Americana.

The Trials of a Scold; The Incredible True Story of Writer Anne Royall by Jeff Biggers. Thomas Dunne Press. Pen Americana.

American Eclipse; A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron. Liveright. Pen Americana.

Book Prizes, 2017

Lioness; Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun. Schocken Books. Jewish Studies Award.

Hollywood’s Spies; The Undercover Surveillance of Nazis in Los Angeles by Laura Rosenzweig. New York University Press. Jewish Studies Award.

The Choice; Embrace the Possible by Edith Eva Eger. Scribner. Jewish Studies Award.

No Room for Small Dreams; Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres. Custom House. Jewish Studies Award.

Jews on the Frontier; Religion and Mobility in Nineteenth-Century America by Shari Rabini. New York University Press. Jewish Studies Award.

Who Will Lead Us? The Story of Five Hasidic Dynasties in America by Samuel Heilman. University of California Press. Jewish Studies Awards. Jewish Studies Award.

City on a Hilltop; American Jews and the Israeli Settler Movement by Sara Yael Hirschhon. Harvard University Press. Jewish Studies Award.

Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court; From Brandeis to Kagan by David Dalin. Brandeis University Press. Jewish Studies Award.

No Room for Small Dreams; Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres. Custom House. Jewish Studies Award.

Lassoing the Sun; A Year in A merica’s National Parks by Mark Woods. Thomas Dunne Books. Florida Book Award.

Beyond Integration; The Black Freedom Struggle in Escambia County Florida, 1960 to 1980 by Michael Butler. University of North Carolina Press. Florida Book Award.

Kingdoms in the Air; Dispatches from the Far Away by Bob Shacochis. Grove Atlantic.

Oh, Florida !; How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country by Craig Pittman. St. Martin’s Press. Florida Book Award.

White Sand, Black Beach; Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami’s Virginia Key by Gregory Bush. University Press of Florida. Florida Book Award.

Music Everywhere; The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town by Marty Jourard. University Press of Florida. Florida Book Award.

Far and Away; Reporting from the Brink of Change by Andrew Solomon. Simon & Schuster. Florida Book Award.

Erica’s National Parksby

Book Prizes, 2017.

Gulf; The Making of An American Sea by Jack Davis. Liveright. National Book Critics Award.

Border; A Journey to the Edge of Europe by Kapka Kassaabova. Graywolf Press. National Book Critics Award.

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived; The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford & Siddhartna Mukerjee. The Experiment. National Book Critics Award.

Prairie Fires; The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. Metropolitan. National Book Critics Award.

The Invention of Angela Carter; A Biography by Edmund Gordon. Oxford University Press. National Book Critics Award.

The Kelloggs; The Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel. Vintage. National Book Critics Award.

Gorbachev; His Life and Times by William Taubman. W.W. Norton. National Book Critics Award.

Hoover; An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times by Kenneth Whyte. Knopf. National Book Critics Award.

The Art of Death; Writing the Final Story by Edwidge Danticat. Graywolf Press. National Book Critics Award.

You Play the Girl; On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, and Other Mixed Messages by Carina Chocano. Mariner Books. National Book Critics Award.

Guidebook to Relative Strangers; Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History by Camille Dungy. W.W. Norton. National Book Critics Award.

Tell Me How It Ends; An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli. Coffee House Press. National Book Critics Award.

Book Prizes, 2017

Blood in the Water; The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Thompson. Pantheon. Pulitzer Prize.

Brothers at Arms; American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it by Larrie Ferreiro. Knopf. Pulitzer Prize.

 Adnan’s Story; The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial by Rabia Chaudry. St. Martin’s Press. American Book Award.

Invisible Men; A Contemporary Slave Narrative in the Era of Mass Incarceration by Flores Forbes. Skyhorse Publishing. American Book Award.

Blood at the Root; A Racial Cleansing in America by Patrick Phillips. W.W. Norton. American Book Award.

Race and the Totalitarian Century; Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination by Vaughn Rasberry. Harvard University Press. American Book Award.

See You in the Streets; Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. University of Iowa Press. American Book Award.

Seeing the Light; Four Decades in Chinatown by Dean Wong. Chin Music Press. American Book Award.

Book Prizes, 2017.

The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Bancroft Prize.

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson. Pantheon Books. Bancroft Prize.

Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine Turned Patients into Consumers by Nancy Tomes. University of North Carolina Press. Bancroft Prize.

Never Caught; The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong. Atria Books. National Book Award.

The Evangelicals; The Struggle to Shape America. By Frances FitzGerald. Atria Books. National Book Award.

The Future Is History; How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen. Granta. National Book Award.

Killers of the Flower Moon; The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. Doubleday. National Book Award.

Democracy in Chains; The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for American by Nancy MacLean. Scribe Publications. National Book Award.

Locking Up Our Own; Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman, Jr. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. National Book Award.

No Is Not Enough; Resisting Trump’s shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein. Haymarket Books. National Book Award.

The Color of Law; A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein. W.W. Norton. National Book Award.

The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy Tyson. Simon & Schuster. National Book Award.

Bunk; The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young. Graywolf Press. National Book Award.

New Books. Spring 2018.

Twice yearly in the spring and fall I pick out the non-fiction titles that I think the most important of the huge numbers of new books. My task is easier thanks to Publishers Weekly and Edelweiss, a web site that reproduces the catalogues of hundreds of publishers. Occasionally I consult Amazon.

I have selected 145 titles from approximately 750 publishers and composed “blurbs” that give some idea about what the author is about. Most of my selections are in hardback editions, some paper. Few of my choices cost more than $30.00.

As is always the case, a disproportionate number of the books that I have chosen are published by university presses. Major publishers (In the trade they are referred to as the “five big sisters” and they are the second most significant group. I make every effort to include titles from small presses. Fortunately many of the smaller presses are distributed by the major trade publishers and hence are described in their catalogs.

My selection resembles the books that our four buyers chose for Goerings Book Store to stock.

I try not to think too much about being ‘fair.’ You will find some publishers disproportionately represented. The favored publishers change from season to season, but most often are one or another of the university presses. I believe that Yale University Press “takes the cake” this season. I have selected 18 titles listed in their spring catalogue.

New Books: Politics. Economics. I.

Globalists; The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism by Quinn Slobodian. Harvard University Press, 2018. Slobodian begins his story in the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the chaotic world the followed the Great War, out of which grew an aggressive globalization.

Anti-Pluralism; The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy by William Galston. Yale University Press, 2018. Immigration, the growing division between urban and rural prospects, and the declining prospects for a long-run prosperity have fueled the populist movement.

American Default; The Untold Story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the Battle over Gold by Sebastian Edwards. Princeton University Press, 2018. Edwards describes FDR’s rancorous clashes with conservative Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, a confrontation that threatened the future of the New Deal and lead to Roosevelt’s attempt to ‘pack the court’ in 1937.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff. Public Affairs, 2018. We are at the juncture in a confrontation between high tech companies and capitalist enterprises.

The Infinite Desire for Growth by Daniel Cohen & Mary Todd, trans. Princeton University Press, 2018. Our obsession with economic growth as a solution to all of our problems.

The World Inequality Report: 2018 by Thomas Piketty et al. Harvard University Press, paper 2018. Analysis that will be important to policy makers and scholars – if and when they choose to deal with the problem.

Class Matters; The Strange Career of an American Delusion by Steve Fraser. Yale University Press, 2018. Six signposts of American history, each in its own way suggesting just how much class maters.

Must We Defend Nazis? Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy by Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic. New York University Press, 2018 paper. Gainesville has recently had that discussion.

Can Democracy Survive Global Capitalism? by Robert Kuttner, W.W. Norton, 2018. Can we roll back the clock and enjoy the prosperity of the post-World War II years?

Land of the Fee; Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class by Devin Fergus. Oxford University Press, 2018. Fergus looks at the massive transfer of wealth from the many to the few: large banking corporations, airlines, corporate hotel chains, and other institutions of vast wealth.

New Books; Politics. Economics. 2.

God Save Texas; A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright. Knopf, 2018.  The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities.

Squeezed; The High Price of the American Family by Alissa Quart. Ecco Press, 2018. The economic prospects of middle-class Americans, who are finding family life too costly.

Is Entrepreneurship Dead? The Truth About Startups in America by Scott Shane. Yale University Press, 2018.  An evolving market is changing the nature of startups, American entrepreneurship is alive and doing well.

To End a Presidency; The Power of Impeachment by Laurence Tribe & Joshua Matz. How the power of impeachment should be exercised – sparingly, let us hope.

Fascisms; A Warning by Madeleine Albright. Harper, 2018. This former Secretary of State and UN ambassador offers her personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism.

China’s Great Wall of Debt; Shadow Banks, Ghost Cities, Massive Loans, and the End of the Chinse Miracle by Dinny McMahon. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. China’s debt is hanging over international economics; it is to be feared and regretted.

Invisible Countries; Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood by Joshua Keating. Yale University Press, 2018. Before we begin to construct walls, perhaps we should question the validity of borders.

A Foreign Policy for the Left by Michael Walzer. Yale University Press, 2018. At least a beginning framework for a discussion of foreign policy by the Left.

The Divide; Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets by Jason Hickel. W.W.Noton, 2018. Our offering of global aid to developing countries as well as loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund has resulted in a control regime not too unlike the old days of European imperialism. 

New Books; American Studies. 1

Grocery; the Buying and Selling of Food in America by Michael Rutlman. Abrams, 2018 paper.  What has happened in the industry since the days of the neighborhood grocer.

Bringing the War Home; The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America by Kathleen Belew. Harvard University Press, 2018. The most recent strain of white supremacy goes back to the 1970s when veterans of the Vietnam War were responding to feelings of abandonment.

Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945 to 1975 by Max Hastings. Harper, 2018. An analysis of the military strategies of both sides.

The Left Behind; Decline and Rage in Rural America by Robert Wuthnow. Princeton University Press, 2018.What is fueling rural America’s antagonism toward the federal government? A journey into our small towns, farmlands, and rural communities.

Recovering Inequality; Hurricane Katrina [New Orleans], the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and the Aftermath of Disaster by Steve Kroll-Smith. University of Texas Press, 2018 paper. Eighty percent of the built environment of both cities was destroyed; the poor, the elderly, and the medically infirm perished in disproportionate numbers. What can be learned from this comparison?

The Fall of Wisconsin; The Conservative Conquest of a Progressive Bastion and the Future of American Politics by Dan Kaufman. W.W. Norton, 2018. Once hailed for its progress ideas and government, the cradle of the labor and environmental movements. In 2016 the state went for Donald Trump.

Start Here; A Road Map to Reducing Mass Incarceration by Greg Berman & Julian Adler. The New Press, 2018. What can be done now to reduce jail and prison populations? 

At the Boundaries of Homeownership; Credit, Discrimination, and the American State by Cloe Thurston. Cambridge University Presses, 2018 paper. Home-ownership is not necessarily a natural outcome of the democratic process.

Evicted; Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. Crown, 2018 paper. A tour of the poorest neighborhoods in Milwaukee where evictions are increasingly common.

Environmentalism of the Rich by Peter Dauvergne. MIT Press, 2018 paper. What it means for global sustainability when environmentalism is dominated by the concerns of the affluent. They’re telling us how to run our planet. 

Goddess of Anarchy; The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical by Jacqaueline Jones. Basic, 2018. This outspoken labor leader argued that the only way to reform capitalism was to uproot it. Daughter of a slave mother, yet she resisted narrowing her agitation to the African-American working poor.