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So many books, so little time

Brian Landers, Empires Apart: American and Russia from the Vikings to Iraq (Picnic, 2009)

Paul Graham, Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age (O'Reilly, 2004)
Written in clear, narrative style, Hackers & Painters examines issues such as the rightness of web-based applications, the programming language renaissance, spam filtering, the Open Source Movement, internet startups and more. In each essay, Graham moves beyond widely held beliefs about the way that programmers work as he tells important stories about the kinds of people behind tech innovations, revealing distinctions about their characters and their craft.

Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America (Penguin, 2002)
"Taylor?s technique is to reject the ahistorical process of 'knowing' that the United States of America would be the political descendant of the Anglophone colonies in New England and the Chesapeake Bay. Instead, he situates those colonies inside a larger British imperial project that also existed in the West Indies, Nova Scotia, and Hudson?s Bay as well as Spanish (New Mexico, Florida, California), French (Louisiana, Ohio River Valley, etc), Dutch (New York), and even Russian (Alaska, Pacific Northwest) colonial projects." -Matthew Yglesias

Ira Berlin, The Making of Africa America: The Four Great Migrations (Viking, 2010)
"Berlin explores the four great migrations that have produced the distinct culture of African Americans: the transatlantic slave trade; the migration of African slaves from the Atlantic coast inland to southern plantations; the great migration from the rural South to the urban North, particularly during World War II; and the latest movement in the diaspora, the immigration to the U.S. of people of African descent from Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe." —Vanessa Bush

John Michael Greer, The Wealth of Nature: Economics As If Survival Mattered (New Society Publishers, 2011)
"Building on the foundations of E.F. Schumacher's revolutionary 'economics as if people mattered', this book examines the true cost of confusing money with wealth. By analyzing the mistakes of contemporary economics, it shows how an economy centered on natural capital?the raw materials that support human life?can move our society toward a more productive relationship with the planet that sustains us all." —Publisher

Marcelo Gleiser, The Dancing Universe: From Creation Myths to the Big Bang (Dartmouth, 2005)
Gleiser believes that the studies of cosmologists such as himself are spiritual; it's just that scientists seek to prove their intuitions, rather than to rely on faith. He finds the notion that scientists are cold and objective, rather than passionate, to be ludicrous and even offensive, and his accounts of the work of Einstein, Copernicus, and Newton wonderfully personalize the essentially spiritual quests these men made on their paths to discoveries with reproducible results. ?Kirkus

Jay Walljasper, All That We Share: How to Save the Economy, the Environment, the Internet, Democracy, Our Communities, and Everything Else Else That Belongs to All of Us (New Press, 2010)
"... a wake-up call that will inspire you to see the world in a new way. As soon as you realize that some things belong to everyone?water, for instance, or the Internet or human knowledge?you become a commoner, part of a movement that's reshaping how we will solve the problems facing us in the twenty-first century." —publisher

Tariq Ali, The Islam Quintet (Verso, 2010)

Owen Hatherley, A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (Verso, 2010)
Sets out to explore the architecture that epitomized an age of greed and selfish aspiration. From riverside apartment complexes, art galleries and amorphous interactive ?centers? to shopping malls, call centers and factories turned into expensive lofts, Hatherley maps the derelict Britain of the 2010s, an emphatic expression of a failed politics. -publisher

Alain Badiou, Five Lessons on Wagner (Verso, 2010)
Not wearily, but freshly and brightly, Alain Badiou takes up from Nietzsche, Adorno and Lacoue-Labarthe the philosophers' debate with the old magician of Bayreuth in his Five Lessons on Wagner (Verso). Badiou's is an un-Wagnerian Wagner, a composer of ambiguities and silences, of suffering and (his own word) heartbreak a composer still with lessons for the music of today. -TLS

Michael Denning, The Cultural Front: The Laboring of American Culture in the Twentieth Century
Charts the extraordinary upsurge of cultural activity and theory in America that began during the Great Depression and embraced Disney animators and proletarian novelists alike, alongside Orson Welles, Duke Ellington, John Dos Passos, C. L. R James and Billie Holiday. Spawned by the Popular Front of the Communist Party, it grew to encompass virtually every aspect of high and popular art in the US, instigating one of the most culturally exciting and rich periods in American history. -publisher

Shlomo Sand and Ernest Renan, On the Nation and the Jewish People (Verso, 2010)

James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello, The Oil Road: A Journey to the Heart of the Energy Economy (Verso, 2010)

C?sar Aira, An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter (New Directions, 2006)
Novella-cum-artistic meditation about Johann Moritz Rugendas, a 19th century German artist and colleague of explorer Alexander von Humboldt who visited Chile, Argentina and Mexico to record the flora and fauna through an art conceived as "physiognomic totality." More than fiction, it is an imaginative chronicle based on Rugendas' correspondence and other historical sources from the era. To which Aira adds the novelistic touch: el beso de la fantas?a -- the kiss of fantasy. -Ilan Stavans

Melanie Mitchell, Complexity: A Guided Tour (Oxford University Press, 2009)
Melanie Mitchell provides an intimate, detailed tour of the sciences of complexity, a broad set of efforts that seek to explain how large-scale complex, organized, and adaptive behavior can emerge from simple interactions among myriad individuals. -Publisher

Philipp Blom, The Vertigo Years: Change and Culture in the West 1900-1914 (Phoenix, 2009)
"... a one-volume assessment of the gravity-eroding, giddying sweep of European cultural, social, political and spiritual change that permeated the first 15 years of the 20th century. ... The vertiginous atmosphere of a tumbling prewar society - at the same time exciting and frightening - is described with atmospheric clarity. The combination of easily worn scholarship, fascinating character studies and fluent story-telling that is often very funny makes this a hugely enjoyable and illuminating book." -Guardian

Philipp Blom, A Wicked Company: The Forgotten Radicalism of the European Enlightenment (Basic Books, 2010)
"... the story of a set of remarkable individuals on the radical fringes of the 18th-century European Enlightenment, whose determinedly atheistic and materialist philosophies denied the existence of God or the soul. Echoing ancient thinkers such as Democritus and Lucretius, they held ideas that were to prove too revolutionary even for a revolutionary age." -Economist

Robin Blackburn, The American Crucible: Slavery, Emancipation and Human Rights (Verso/W.W. Norton, 2010)

Iain Sinclair, Lights Out for the Territory (Granta Books, 1999)
... a work of reclamation. Sinclair's purpose is to take London back from its officially sanctioned history, its immemorial hierarchies and biases, its real estate agents and developers and builders ... and give it instead (though in what sense is never entirely clear) to an ill-defined but perfectly patentable Sinclair gallery of pre-Norman Britons, Elizabethan mystics and alchemists (John Dee and John Tradescant the elder and Elias Ashmole), to William Blake, to obscure, ''reforgotten'' British Beats, gangsters, street poets, pulp scribblers, avant-garde filmmakers and general unclassifiables. ?Michael Hoffman, New York Times

Kevin Kelley, What Technology Wants (Viking, 2010)
"This provocative book introduces a brand-new view of technology. It suggests that technology as a whole is not just a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. Kelly looks out through the eyes of this global technological system to discover 'what it wants.' Kelly uses vivid examples from the past to trace technology's long course, and then follows a dozen trajectories of technology into the near future to project where technology is headed." -Publisher's blurb

Salim Washington and Farah Jasmine Griffin, Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and the Greatest Jazz Collaboration Ever (Thomas Dunne Books, 2008)
"During the 1950s and ?60s, Miles Davis reinvented jazz several times over while maintaining an aura of implacable cool; meanwhile, John Coltrane embarked on an intense spiritual-musical quest, in the process creating music that was both deeply personal and universally resonant. The recordings the two men created together during the period in which Coltrane served as a sideman in Davis? quintets are among the most important in the history of jazz, and in a their new book, Clawing at the Limits of Cool, authors Farah Jasmine Griffin and Salim Washington argue that Davis and Coltrane?s collaborations also embodied important ideas about what it meant to be a black artist during the Civil Rights era."

John Michael Greer, Star's Reach: A Novel of the Deindustrial Future (Blogspot, 2009)

Langguth, A.J., Driven West: Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears to the Civil War (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
"Langguth?s case, roughly put, is that the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, Jackson?s breaking of Indian treaties and his support of the Southern states, especially Georgia, in resisting a Supreme Court?s ruling in favor of the Cherokees were 'salvos ... fired in the nation?s first civil war' ? a war that gave us the next, more cataclysmic one three decades later." -New York Times Book Review

Johnson, Walter, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Harvard University Press, 2001)
Johnson "takes readers inside the Dixie slave pens and traders' coffles (long rows of slaves manacled and chained to one another). His focus is New Orleans, North America's largest slave market, hub of a trade that decimated African-American slave communities by tearing families asunder--destroying marriages and separating children from parents. Using former slave survivors' narratives, letters written by slaveholders, docket records of cases of disputed slave sales and Southern medical and agricultural journals, Johnson interweaves the voices of traders, buyers, auctioneers and the slaves themselves." -Publisher's Weekly

Josipovici, Gabriel, What Ever Happened to Modernism? (Yale University Press, 2010)
Josipovici ... eschews both the definitions usually proffered by cultural historians of a Marxist bent (that it was a reaction to industrialisation or to a crisis among the bourgeoisie) and the humanist ones given by liberals (that it was an era of unbridled self-expression), not to mention the dismissive ones put out by conservatives (that it was all a bit of silliness we've thankfully got over now). In their stead he ventures, at the outset of this book-length essay, a more essential formula: that modernism should be understood as "a coming into awareness by art of its precarious status and responsibilities". —Guardian

Van Cleve, George William, A Slaveholders' Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic (University of Chicago Press, 2010)
"After its early introduction into the English colonies in North America, slavery in the United States lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. But increasingly during the contested politics of the early republic, abolitionists cried out that the Constitution itself was a slaveowners? document, produced to protect and further their rights. A Slaveholders? Union furthers this unsettling claim by demonstrating once and for all that slavery was indeed an essential part of the foundation of the nascent republic." —Publisher

Guardiola-Rivera, Oscar, What if Latin America Ruled the World? How the South Will Take the North into the 22nd Century (Bloomsbury, 2010)
"Guardiola-Rivera predicts the imminent Hispanic takeover of the United States, some time before the middle of this century. The US is already on the way to becoming a Latin American country, with the immense pro-immigrant marches of recent years in American cities resembling the huge popular mobilisations that have led to political change in Latin America. Until recently, the Latinos in the US were perceived as the children of the white elites, refugees from the radical black and Amerindian governments in the south. Now, especially among those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Latinos of a different complexion are beginning to look to the startling developments in their original homeland for political inspiration." —Richard Gott, The Guardian

McNeill, J.R., Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620?1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
"This book explores the links among ecology, disease, and international politics in the context of the Greater Caribbean - the landscapes lying between Surinam and the Chesapeake - in the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. Ecological changes made these landscapes especially suitable for the vector mosquitoes of yellow fever and malaria, and these diseases wrought systematic havoc among armies and would-be settlers. Because yellow fever confers immunity on survivors of the disease, and because malaria confers resistance, these diseases played partisan roles in the struggles for empire and revolution, attacking some populations more severely than others. In particular, yellow fever and malaria attacked newcomers to the region, which helped keep the Spanish Empire Spanish in the face of predatory rivals in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the late eighteenth and through the nineteenth century, these diseases helped revolutions to succeed by decimating forces sent out from Europe to prevent them."

Popkin, Jeremy D., You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
"The abolitions of slavery in the French Caribbean colony of Saint-Domingue in 1793 and in revolutionary France in 1794 were the first dramatic blows against an institution that had shaped the Atlantic world for three centuries and affected the lives of millions of people. Based on extensive archival research, You Are All Free provides the first complete account of the dramatic events that led to these epochal decrees, and also to the destruction of Cap Fran?ais, the richest city in the French Caribbean, and to the first refugee crisis in the United States."

Mann, Brian, Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution (Steerforth, 2006)
"Forget the red state/blue state divide?the real fault line is between progressive metropolitan and suburban areas in every region and the conservative rural sea surrounding them, asserts this trenchant study of American politics. Drawing on demographic, polling and voting data and interviews, journalist Mann analyzes the disconnect between overwhelmingly Republican rural "homelanders," who vote their traditional values and Christian moral certitudes, and an urban "metro" culture whose cosmopolitanism, secularism and relativism they revile." —Publisher's Weekly

Mason, Paul, Live Working or Die Fighting: How the Working Class Went Global (Haymarket Books, 2010)

Winder, Simon, Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and Their History (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)
Winder suggests that Germany is "Britain's weird twin." Though he doesn't elaborate on this comparison, it's true that just as English history is a blend of rustic, almost Hobbit-like charm and grasping imperialism, so Germany is usually regarded as an extreme example of bipolar disorder, oscillating between sentimental good Germans and ruthlessly bad ones; between jovial folk in lederhosen and ice-cold Teutons with saber scars; between Brahms and Buchenwald. Winder blames the food: "Like some circling, trapped beast, German cuisine is goaded by its climate into turning out endless sausages, turnips, and potatoes. . . . This is a relatively low self-esteem, ingredient-thin bit of Europe, hemmed in by other cultures with access to serious sunlight." One suspects it is rather more complicated than that, if only because the supposedly sun-deprived Germans have installed more solar panels in their country than can be found anywhere else on earth. —Martin Walker

Ross, Alex, Listen to This (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)
"... offers a panoramic view of the musical scene, taking in Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Verdi, Brahms, Marian Anderson, Frank Sinatra, Cecil Taylor, Led Zeppelin, Bj?rk, Radiohead, Mitsuko Uchida, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Luther Adams, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Bob Dylan, and the Malcolm X Shabazz High School Marching Band." —Alex Ross

Beaumont, Matthew, and Gregory Dart, eds., Restless Cities (Verso, 2010)
The metropolis is a site of endless making and unmaking. Restless Cities celebrates the ceaselessly inventive character of the metropolitan city from the nineteenth century to the present, in an original and idiosyncratic attempt to recapture its rhythms. In its explorations of phenomena like commuting, convalescing, dreaming, lodging, recycling and sickening in the city, this rich, wide-ranging book traces the patterns that have defined the individual in everyday urban life.

Uglow, Jenny, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009)
Revolving around the figure of Charles II, it plays up why the Restoration was regarded as a time of risk and glamour, as manifested in the courtesans Charles kept, the courtiers he favored, and the theaters he loved to attend. The resulting gossip permeates Uglow?s lively prose, but she is no writer drawn to the merely meretricious. Uglow perceptively connects the show to the underlying political tensions of the era. The extravagant expenses of his court and a war with the Dutch accentuated the power struggle between crown and Parliament, which, when not rumbling over money, kept battling over issues left over from the interregnum dealing with religion and withproperty confiscated from royalists. To top things off, the 1660s were the decade plague and fire devastated London. —Booklist

Uglow, Jenny, The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future, 1730-1810 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002)
"In the late 1700s, five gifted inventors and amateur scholars in Birmingham, England, came together for what one of them, Erasmus Darwin, called 'a little philosophical laughing.' They also helped kick-start the industrial revolution, as Jenny Uglow relates. ...Their 'Lunar Society' included Joseph Priestley, the chemist who isolated oxygen; James Watt, the Scottish inventor of the steam engine; and Josiah Wedgwood, whose manufacture of pottery created the industrial model for the next century." —

Ugarteche, Oscar, Babilonia la Grande (Alfaguara (Lima), 1999)
Una historia de amor a ritmo de boleros que nos cuenta la historia y decadencia de la correcta familia Pardo de Balta con la brutal sociedad peruana como tel?n de fondo.

Attlee, James, Isolarion: A Different Oxford Journey (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
"From a sojourn in a sensory-deprivation tank to a furtive visit to an unmarked pornography emporium, Attlee investigates every aspect of the Cowley Road?s appealingly eclectic culture, where halal shops jostle with craft jewelers and reggae clubs pulsate alongside quiet churchyards."

Wells, Spencer, Pandora's Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization (Random House, 2010)
"Wells concentrates on the beginnings of agriculture some 10,000 years ago. Intrigued by traces of the transition from hunter-gatherer times that can be interpreted from the human genome, Wells chats with researchers on this topic and translates their methods and findings into jargon-free language. Combining the DNA discussions with descriptions of archaeological evidence, Wells maintains that putting away the spear and taking up the plow have not been unalloyed boons to humanity." —Booklist

Hogeland, William, Declaration: The Nine Tumultuous Weeks When America Became Independent, May 1-July 4, 1776 (Simon & Schuster, 2010)
"Although the story of the Declaration of Independence has been told many times, imprecise historical sources encourage its retelling. Hogeland expounds upon one gray area, the furtive activity of Samuel Adams, John Adams, and radical cohorts to overturn the Pennsylvania government. Its lack of enthusiasm for independence was their motive; its leader, John Dickinson, was their target; and exploitation of class animosities was their means." —Booklist

Lause, Mark A., Race and Radicalism in the Union Army (University of Illinois Press, 2009)
In this compelling portrait of interracial activism, Mark A. Lause documents the efforts of radical followers of John Brown to construct a triracial portion of the Federal Army of the Frontier. Mobilized and inspired by the idea of a Union that would benefit all, black, Indian, and white soldiers fought side by side, achieving remarkable successes in the field. Against a backdrop of idealism, racism, greed, and the agonies and deprivations of combat, Lause examines links between radicalism and reform, on the one hand, and racialized interactions among blacks, Indians, and whites, on the other.

Clark, Gene, Shadow & Claw (Orb, 1994)

Hulerson, Scott, On the Grid: A Plot of Land, an Average Neighborhood, and the Systems that Make our World Work (Rodale, 2010)
Wires, pipes, roads, and water support the lives we lead, but the average person doesn't know where they go or even how they work. Our systems of infrastructure are not only shrouded in mystery, many are woefully out of date. In On the Grid, Scott Huler takes the time to understand the systems that sustain our way of life, starting from his own quarter of an acre in North Carolina and traveling as far as Ancient Rome.

Rogerson, Barnaby, The Last Crusaders: The Hundred Year Battle for the Centre of the World (Little, Brown, 2009)
"George Orwell once summarised history in terms of technology: the castle defeated the knight, gunpowder defeated the castle, and the cheque-book defeated gunpowder (adding that the machine-gun defeated the cheque-book). Rogerson's subject is an illustration of two of these elements. He tells the story - and he is an excellent storyteller - of the great battles that occurred in the Mediterranean, "the centre of the world", between Islam and Christianity in the 15th and 16th centuries." —Norman Stone

Damrosch, Leo, Tocqueville's Discovery of America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)
"Helping to humanize as well as historicize the young Tocqueville while he was discovering America is the main achievement of Damrosch's concise and absorbing new book." —Sean Wilentz

Fishkin, Shelley Fisher, ed., The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Works (Library of America, 2010)
"A century and a half of the best writing about America?s quintessential writer."

Serge, Victor, Unforgiving Years (New York Review Books, 2008)
"A thrilling and terrifying journey into the disastrous, blazing core of the twentieth century. Victor Serge?s final novel, here translated into English for the first time, is at once the most ambitious, bleakest, and most lyrical of this neglected major writer?s works."

Wu Ming, Manituana (Verso, 2010)
Manituana is "set amid radical conflict between the British Empire and American colonies in the late 18th century. After a string of duplicitous moves aimed at undermining and stealing from the Mohawk tribe, Mohawk war chief Joseph Brant must decide who to side with as the colonial militia marches through Massachusetts toward Canada to confront the British. As the escalating turmoil reverberates into the Mohawk River Valley, Brant, with his family, comrade/hunter Philip Lacroix and an immense convoy of warriors, sets out on a journey plagued by misfortune and bloody rebel attacks. From dry river beds at Fort Stanwix and the momentous capture of Ethan Allen in Montreal to the streets of London, dread eventually sets in by 1777 as the group disbands in an attempt to counteract its imminent defeat." —Publisher's Weekly

Holt, John, with Ginny Diers, Coyote Nowhere: In Search of America's Last Frontier (Lyons Press , 2004)
"Coyote Nowhere - a phrase taken from Jack Kerouac's On the Road - explores and examines the northern high plains through John Holt's words and Ginny Diers's photographs. The northern high plains roll east from the base of the Rocky Mountains like still-life waves for hundreds of miles. From the Canadian Northwest down through Montana and into Wyoming, the sparsely populated country drifts off eternally. Isolated pockets of mountains rise thousands of feet above what was once an ancient seabed and home to dinosaurs. Millions of acres of native grass buffet back and forth in the wind or bake under a wicked sun. Yet, despite all this space, threats to the country rain down in the form of strip mining, oil exploration, and logging, to name a few."

Gelernter, David, Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology (Basic Books, 1998)
"The sense of beauty is a tuning fork in the brain that hums when we stumble on something beautiful. We enjoy the resonant hum and seek it out. And when we return numb and weary from a round of shoveling the grim gray snow of life, beauty is the hearth, beauty's the fire, beauty's the cup of coffee (the fragrance, the saucer's clink, the curl of cream) that makes the whole business seem almost worthwhile. Ponder long enough as you sip and life can turn inside out under your gaze like a trick profile, and coffee and hearth become the reason snow exists, and beauty explains the world. Strangely enough, beauty is also a truth-and-rightness meter, and science and technology could not exist without it. Its tuning-fork hum guides scientists toward truth and technologists toward stronger and more useful machines. It leads the way forward." —David Gelernter

Segre, Gino, Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics (Viking, 2007)
"As though their knowledge of the quantum secrets came with the power of prophecy, some three dozen of Europe?s best physicists ended their 1932 meeting in Copenhagen with a parody of Goethe?s 'Faust.' Just weeks earlier, James Chadwick had discovered neutrons ? the bullets of nuclear fission ? and before long Enrico Fermi was shooting them at uranium atoms. By the time of the first nuclear explosion a little more than a decade later in New Mexico, the idea of physics as a Faustian bargain was to its makers already a clich?. Robert Oppenheimer, looking for a sound bite, quoted Vishnu instead: 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.'? —George Johnson, New York Times

Okrent, Daniel, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition (Scribners, 2010)
"Daniel Okrent explores how a confluence of political and social trends led to America's dry era. Okrent explains how both the suffrage and anti-immigration movements helped in the shaping and passage of the 18th Amendment and how Prohibition served as a stand-in for several other political issues. 'Prohibition became the same sort of political football that people on either side would use trying to struggle to get it towards their goal, which was control of the country. ... You could find a number of ways that people could come into whatever issue they wanted to use and use Prohibition as their tool.'" –Fresh Air/NPR

Doug Peacock, Yellowstone Drift: Floating the Past in Real Time

Gabriel Thompson, Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do

John Pipkin, Woodsburner: A Novel

Michael McIntosh, Wild Things

Derrick Jensen, What We Leave Behind

Zack Hample, Watching Baseball Smarter: A Professional Fan’s Guide for Beginners, Semi-experts, and Deeply Serious Geeks

James McCommons, Waiting on a Train: The Embattled Future of Passenger Rail Service--A Year Spent Riding across America

Michael Eastman, Vanishing America: The End of Main Street Diners, Drive-Ins, Donut Shops, and Other Everyday Monuments

Alperovits, Gar, Unjust Deserts: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back

Adam Haslett, Union Atlantic

A.J. Langguth, Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence

Michael Sorkin, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan

James M. McPherson, Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief

Jed Rasula, This Compost: Ecological Imperatives in American Poetry

Robin Kelley, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original

T. C. Boyle, The Women: A Novel

Gerald Horne, The White Pacific: U.S. Imperialism and Black Slavery in the South Seas After the Civil War

Alex Roland, The Way of the Ship: America’s Maritime History Reenvisoned, 1600-2000

Frederick Matthew Wiseman, The Voice of the Dawn: An Autohistory of the Abenaki Nation

, The Uncultured Wars: Arabs, Muslims and the Poverty of Liberal Thought - New Essays

Nicolás Wey Gómez, The Tropics of Empire: Why Columbus Sailed South to the Indies (Transformations: Studies in the History of Science and Technology)

Arthur Nersesian, The Swing Voter of Staten Island (Akashic Urban Surreal)

Graham Farmelo, The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Quantum Genius

Richard Wilkinson, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better

Peter Dauvergne, The Shadows of Consumption: Consequences for the Global Environment

Fern Elsdon-Baker, The Selfish Genius: How Richard Dawkins Rewrote Darwin’s Legacy

Adrienne Rich, The School Among the Ruins: Poems 2000-2004

Jonathan Dee, The Privileges: A Novel

Richard Benson, The Printed Picture

, The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess

Steven Hahn, The Political Worlds of Slavery and Freedom (The Nathan I. Huggins Lectures)

Laura Dassow Walls, The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America

Ed. Marc Smirnoff, The Oxford American Book of Great Music Writing

Peter Katz, The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community

Denis Wood, The Natures of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of the Natural World

Walter Mosley, The Long Fall

Kenneth Baker, The Lightning Field (Dia Foundation)

, The Jazz Ear: Conversations over Music

Russell Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America

Donald W. Meinig, The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes: Geographical Essays

, The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization

Wendy Doniger, The Hindus: An Alternative History

Susan Schulten, The Geographical Imagination in America, 1880-1950

Emile Zola, The Fortune of the Rougons

Salman Rushdie, The Enchantress of Florence

, The Earth As Art: Views from Heaven: The Earth - The Man - The Dream

Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education

Michael Perelman, The Confiscation of American Prosperity: From Right-Wing Extremism and Economic Ideology to the Next Great Depression

Pekka Hamalainen (Hamalainen), The Comanche Empire (The Lamar Series in Western History)

China Mieville, The City & The City

A. S. Byatt, The Children’s Book

Sabiha al Khemir, The Blue Manuscript

Leon Krier, The Architecture of Community

Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project

Mark A. Lause, The Antebellum Crisis and America’s First Bohemians

Louisa Gilder, The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Sugrue, Sweet Land of Liberty: The Forgotten Struggle for Civil Rights in the North

Herman M. Schwartz, Subprime Nation: American Power, Global Capital, and the Housing Bubble (Cornell Studies in Money)

Herman M. Schwartz, States Versus Markets: The Emergence of a Global Economy

Matt Weiland, State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America

Joe Gores, Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett?s The Maltese Falcon (Knopf, 2009)

Dana Jennings, Sing Me Back Home: Love, Death, and Country Music

Ethan Brown, Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans

Janine R. Wedel, Shadow Elite: How the World?s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market

Kitty Burns Florey, Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting

Paul VanDevelder, Savages and Scoundrels: The Untold Story of America?s Road to Empire through Indian Territory

Stephen Thomas Knight, Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography

, Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability, and the Aftermath of Empire

Jack Howard, Practical HDRI: High Dynamic Range Imaging for Photographers

Wim Wenders, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth

Philip Gefter, Photography After Frank

Peter S. Goodman, Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy

Thomas Paine, Passions Of The Potsmoking Patriots: Our Famous Founders’ Secret Lives

James H. S. McGregor, Paris from the Ground Up

Steve Nicholls, Paradise Found: Nature in America at the Time of Discovery

, Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the Center for Land Use Interpretation

Alex Maclean, Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point

, Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans

Andrew Ross, Nice Work If You Can Get It: Life and Labor in Precarious Times (Nyu Series in Social and Cultural Analysis)

Sharon Zukin, Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music

Mitch Epstein, Mitch Epstein: American Power

Nick Reding, Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

, Maxfield Parrish: A Retrospective

Tristram Hunt, Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels

, Mapping New York

Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Fred Kaplan, Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer

Douglas Rushkoff, Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back

Phillip Lopate, Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks

, Infinity of Lists

David R. Roediger, How Race Survived US History: From the American Revolution to the Present

Ross W. Duffin, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care)

Noam Chomsky, Hopes and Prospects

Susan Buck-Morss, Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009)

Ben Finane, Handels Messiah (Magnum Opus)

Ellen Lupton, Graphic Design: The New Basics

Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World

Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forgotten Allies: The Oneida Indians and the American Revolution

Novella Carpenter, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

Wallace Shawn, Essays

Juan Cole, Engaging the Muslim World

Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle

, Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture

Daniel Goleman, Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything

Amy Dempsey, Destination Art

Ted Gioia, Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music

Ruth Padel, Darwin: A Life in Poems

Morris Dickstein, Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression

Peter Hallward, Damming the Flood: Haiti and the Politics of Containment

Peter Maass, Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil

Fulvio Melia, Cracking the Einstein Code: Relativity and the Birth of Black Hole Physics

Charles Tilly, Contentious Performances (Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics)

Stanley Crouch, Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz

Melinda Blau, Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter. . . But Really Do

Patrick Burke, Come In and Hear the Truth: Jazz and Race on 52nd Street

Jim Krane, City of Gold: Dubai and the Dream of Capitalism

Mr. John Felstiner, Can Poetry Save the Earth?: A Field Guide to Nature Poems

Joel Meyerowitz, Bystander: A History of Street Photography with a new Afterword on SP since the 1970s

Barbara Ehrenreich, Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America

David Byrne, Bicycle Diaries

Robert Gibbons, Beyond Time: New and Selected Work 1977-2007

Polisi, American Muse: The Life and Times of William Schuman

Howard Blum, American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century

Dan Beachy-Quick, A Whaler’s Dictionary

George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music

Stephen Mihm, A Nation of Counterfeiters: Capitalists, Con Men, and the Making of the United States

Catherine Frank & Margaret Holden, A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain: Exploring the New York, Vermont & Quebec Shores (Kayaker’s Guide To...)

Karen Armstrong, A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Robert W. Merry, A Country of Vast Designs: James K. Polk, the Mexican War and the Conquest of the American Continent

Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence

Peter Richardson, A Bomb in Every Issue: How the Short, Unruly Life of Ramparts Magazine Changed America

Jon Latimer, 1812: War with America

Giorgio Agamben, What Is an Apparatus? and Other Essays (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics)

Dorothy Dunnett, The Unicorn Hunt: The Fifth Book of the House of Niccolo

Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities Vol. 1: A Sort of Introduction and Pseudo Reality Prevails

Tilly, Charles, Contentious Performances (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Wright, Charles, Littlefoot (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007)

Weiland, Matt and Sean Wilsey, State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America (Harper Collins, 2008)
"Inspired by the example of the legendary WPA American Guide series of the 1930s and '40s, now 50 of our foremost writers have produced original pieces of reportage and memoir that capture the 50 states in our time, creating a fresh portrait of America as it lives and breathes today."

Stewart, George S., Pickett's Charge (Mariner Books, 1991)
"Stewart tells this only too familiar story as if it had never been told before . . . in spite of ourselves, we sit breathless to the end. A splendid and stirring book." –The New Yorker

Stewart, George R., Earth Abides (Fawcett, 1986)

Nersesian, Arthur, The Swing Voter of Staten Island (Akashic Books, 2007)

Bell, Susan, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself (W.W. Norton, 2007)

Bedell, Rebecca, The Anatomy of Nature: Geology and American Landscape Painting, 1825-1875 (Princeton University Press, 2002)

Dunn, Russell and Barbara Delaney, Trails with Tales: History Hikes through the Capital Region, Saratoga, Berkshires, Catskills & Hudson Valley (Black Dome Press, 2006)

Driscoll, John Paul, All That Is Glorious Around Us: Paintings from the Hudson River School (Cornell University Press, 1997)

DeLue, Rachael Ziady, George Inness and the Science of Landscape (University of Chicago Press, 2005)

Center for Land Use Interpretation, Up River: Man-Made Sites of Interest on the Hudson from the Battery to Troy (Blast Books, 2008)

Wells, Peter S., Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered (W.W. Norton, 2008)

Sparks, The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey (Harvard University Press, 2004)

Ali, Tariq, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power (Simon and Schuster, 2008)

Rediker, Marcus, The Slave Ship: A Human History (Viking, 2007)

Gombrich, E.H., A Little History of the World (Yale University Press, 2005)

Rashid, Ahmed, Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia (Viking, 2008)

Benjamin, Walter, The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility, and other writings on media (The Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2008)

Nurkse, D., The Border Kingdom (Knopf, 2008)

Ehrenreich, Barbara, This Land Is Their Land: Reports from a Divided Nation (Metropolitan Books, 2008)
"In a process that had begun in the 1980s and suddenly accelerated in the early 2000s, the ground was shifting under our feet, recarving the American landscape. The peaks of great wealth grew higher, rising up beyond the clouds, while the valleys of poverty sank lower into perpetual shadow. The once broad plateau of the middle class eroded away into a narrow ledge with the white-knuckled occupants holding on for dear life. Barbara Ehrenreich has spent her career writing about the niches of that narrow ledge where the shrinking middle class clings, and in the past few years, the accelerated narrowing of that ledge--and the terror it's creating in the American population--has become something of her own specialized beat."

Orlov, Dmitry, Reinventing Collapse: Soviet Example and American Prospects (New Society Publishers, 2008)
"In the waning days of the American Empire the US administration finds itself mired in political crisis; foreign policy has come under sharp criticism; and the economy is in steep decline. These trends mirror the experience of the Soviet Union in the early 1980's. Reinventing Collapse examines the circumstances of the demise of the Soviet superpower and offers clear insights into how we might prepare for coming events."

Czech, Brian, Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders, and a Plan to Stop them All (University of California Press, 2000)
'Economic growth is as American as apple pie and as popular as pizza. It has also, according to conservation biologist Czech, reached its limits and had led to "economic bloat," doing irreversible harm to the environment and literally destroying the future for the next generations. The main culprits here are mainstream, "neoclassical" economists (and also the political and economic elite supporting them) who through arcane theorization insist there are no limits to growth. Czech does a marvelous job of skewering the assumptions behind this notion and of introducing and synthesizing the perspectives of the opposing field, "environmental economics," which offers in the place of unbridled growth a "steady state" economy of low production and consumption and stable population.' —Publisher's Weekly

Brook, Timothy, Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (Bloomsbury Press, 2008)
"Stories of ethnic cleansing, human trafficking and illegal immigration, of corporate power and the uneven effects of free trade have become so prevalent as to define our understanding of the post-Cold War world. But, as Timothy Brook shows in his elegant and quietly important book, such stories have been with us for centuries, and our global world is much older than we typically think."

Stafford, David, Endgame 1945: The Missing Final Chapter of World War II (Little, Brown, 2007)

Wolin, Sheldon, Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton University Press, 2008)
"Wolin portrays a country where citizens are politically uninterested and submissive--and where elites are eager to keep them that way. At best the nation has become a "managed democracy" where the public is shepherded, not sovereign. At worst it is a place where corporate power no longer answers to state controls. Wolin makes clear that today's America is in no way morally or politically comparable to totalitarian states like Nazi Germany, yet he warns that unchecked economic power risks verging on total power and has its own unnerving pathologies."

Glenny, Misha, McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld (Alfred A. Knopf, 2008)
"A riveting and chilling journey through the myriad criminal syndicates flourishing in our increasingly globalized world, which make up as much as 20% of global GNP. Tracing the growth of organized crime ? ranging from the burgeoning sex trade in volatile, postcommunist Bulgaria to elaborate Internet frauds in Nigeria ? Glenny expertly combines interviews with key players, economic studies and sociological analysis."

Blackmon, Douglas, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II (Doubleday, 2008)
"Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, Slavery by Another Name unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system?s final demise in the 1940s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II."

Taibbi, Matt, The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics and Religion at the Twilight of the American Empire (Spiegel & Grau, 2008)
"Reading Matt Taibbi always reminds me of the infamous scene in Dr. Strangelove in which Slim Pickens is riding the H-bomb to certain death: there's a certain bitter, wild, laughing-on-the-way-to-destruction bravado about the fireworks of the Rolling Stone contributor's biting observations and spectacular writing skills. Nowhere is this more on display than in his current offering." —SusanG/DailyKos

Fonseca, Isabel, Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey (Vintage, 1996)
Documents the universal plight of the landless, illiterate, and non-technological in a world that defines civilization as real estate and possessions and documents that define them.

Freeman, Charles, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (Vintage, 2005)
"The classical tradition didn't simply waste away but was suffocated by a consolidated church and its ritual, which some would consider irrational superstition. In advancing this claim, Freeman's exploration of early Christian attitudes toward Jews, science, and sex are particularly illuminating, as is his perspective on Islam as preservers of Aristotle. Freeman is clearly a little mournful about the loss of logic until Thomas Aquinas, but the product of his frustration with the early church--this book--is simply too impressively erudite to dismiss as polemic or, indeed, to set down." —Brendan Driscoll

Horwitz, Tony, A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World (Macmillan, 2008)
On a chance visit to Plymouth Rock, Tony Horwitz realizes he?s mislaid more than a century of American history, from Columbus?s sail in 1492 to Jamestown?s founding in 16-oh-something. Did nothing happen in between? Determined to find out, he embarks on a journey of rediscovery, following in the footsteps of the many Europeans who preceded the Pilgrims to America.

Lyle, Erick, On the Lower Frequencies: A Secret History of the City (Soft Skull Press, 2008)
At once a manual, a memoir and a history of creative resistance and fun in a world run rotten with poverty and war. Whether handing out fake starbucks coupons for free coffee, dropping flyers on mall-goer's heads that say "aren't you glad this isn't a bomb?" or having punk shows in laundromats, Lyle (formerly known as Iggy Scam) has shown the world over the years that you can resist consumerism and have fun and have a sense of humor at the same time.

Prakash, Gyan, and Kevin M. Kruse, The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life (Princeton University Press, 2008)
Examines how the city develops in the interactions of space and imagination. The essays focus on issues such as street design in Vienna, the motion picture industry in Los Angeles, architecture in Marseilles and Algiers, and the kaleidoscopic paradox of post-apartheid Johannesburg. They explore the nature of spatial politics, examining the disparate worlds of eighteenth-century Baghdad, nineteenth-century Morelia, Cold War-era West Berlin, and postwar Los Angeles.

Ingersoll, Richard, Sprawltown: Looking for the City on Its Edge (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006)
Ingersoll takes the position that any solution to the problems of sprawl?including pressing issues like resource use and energy waste? must take into consideration its undeniable success as a social milieu. No screed against the suburb, this book offers a more sophisticated and nuanced view of the way we think about its rapid development and growth.

Williams, Rosalind, Notes on the Underground: An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination (MIT Press, 2008)
What are the consequences when human beings dwell in an environment that is predominantly built rather than given? The underground has always played a prominent role in human imaginings, both as a place of refuge and as a source of fear. The late nineteenth century saw a new fascination with the underground as Western societies tried to cope with the pervasive changes of a new social and technological order. Williams takes us inside that critical historical moment.

Turkle, Sherry, Falling for Science: Objects in Mind (MIT Press, 2008)
Love for science can start with a love for an object — a microscope, a modem, a mud pie, a pair of dice, a fishing rod. Objects fire imagination and set young people on a path to a career in science. Scientists and engineers describe how objects encountered in childhood became part of the fabric of their scientific selves.

Ascher, Kate, The Works: Anatomy of a City (Penguin, 2005)
Everything you ever wanted to know about what makes New York City run. When you flick on your light switch the light goes on ? how? When you put out your garbage, where does it go? When you flush your toilet, what happens to the waste? How does water get from a reservoir in the mountains to your city faucet? ... And what in the world is that steam coming out from underneath the potholes on the street?

Perlstein, Rick, Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America (Scribner, 2008)
"Recaptures America's turbulent 1960s and early 1970s and reveals how Richard Nixon rose from the political grave to seize and hold the presidency." "Rolls Woodstock and Watergate, the death of RFK and the Tet Offensive, Jane Fonda and George Wallace, and a cast of thousands more into a mere 800 pages."

Shnayerson, Michael, Coal River (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)
"For anyone curious about the inside story behind one of America?s most dramatic environmental battles?'America destroying America itself'?or desperate for inspiration and encouragement in fighting intractable battles against indomitable foes, Coal River is very much worth the effort." —Mark Dowie

du Sautoy, Marcus, Symmetry: A Journey Into the Patterns of Nature (HarperCollins, 2008)
"In chemistry and physics, the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; and symmetry ? and the breaking of it ? is central to ideas in art, architecture, and music. Combining a rich historical narrative with his own personal journey as a mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy takes a unique look into the mathematical mind as he explores deep conjectures about symmetry and brings us face-to-face with the oddball mathematicians, both past and present, who have battled to understand symmetry's elusive qualities." (Publisher's blurb)

Fagan, Brian, The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations (Bloomsbury, 2008)
"Climate has been making history for a very long time, though historians have rarely paid much attention to it. But as it turns out, a few less inches of rain, a change in temperature of just a degree or two can make all the difference in how human events unfold. The Great Warming demonstrates that although human beings make history, they very definitely do not make it under circumstances of their own choosing.? —Ted Steinberg

Abulafia, David, The Discovery of Mankind (Yale University Press, 2008)
"Emphasizing contact between peoples rather than the discovery of lands, and using archaeological findings as well as eyewitness accounts, David Abulafia explores the social lives of the New World inhabitants, the motivations and tensions of the first transactions with Europeans, and the swift transmutation of wonder to vicious exploitation. ... A work of humane engagement with a period in which a tragically violent standard was set for European conquest across the world." (Publisher's blurb)

Pegg, Mark Gregory, A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for Christendom (Oxford University Press, 2007)
"... a bold, erudite, engaging, and superbly written study of what has long been one of the most central topics in medieval and Mediterranean history. By providing a vivid and detailed portrait of the Albigensian crusade and of the great trail of blood the crusaders left in their wake, Pegg offers to his readers a brilliant and lasting contribution to our understanding of one of the harshest and most critical moments in the history of the West." —Teofilo F. Ruiz, UCLA

Jacoby, Susan, The Age of American Unreason (Pantheon, 2008)
"This impassioned, tough-minded work of contemporary history paints a disturbing portrait of a mutant strain of public ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism that has developed over the past four decades and now threatens the future of American democracy." (Publisher's blurb)

Hunt, Samantha, The Invention of Everything Else (Houghton Mifflin, 2008)
Inventor Nikola Tesla is holed up in a surreal hotel in Manhattan. There are rumors he's receiving messages from Mars, building a death ray, working on a time machine. "Indeed, the novel is something of a time machine itself, and not just because of its lyrical recreation of New York in the first half of the 20th century. The story is a Rube Goldberg contraption of history, slapstick, biography and science fiction: a narrative bricolage that looks too precarious to work but is too alluring to resist."

Venkatesh, Sudhir, American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto (Harvard University Press, 2000)
"Based on nearly a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, American Project is the first comprehensive story of daily life in an American public housing complex. Venkatesh draws on his relationships with tenants, gang members, police officers, and local organizations to offer an intimate portrait of an inner-city community that journalists and the public have only viewed from a distance."

Leslie, Esther, Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant-Garde (Verso, 2002)
"With ruminations on drawing, colour and caricature, on the political meaning of fairy-tales, talking animals and human beings as machines, Hollywood Flatlands brings to light the links between animation, avant-garde art and modernist criticism.Focusing on the work of aesthetic and political revolutionaries of the inter-war period, Esther Leslie reveals how the animation of commodities can be studied as a journey into modernity in cinema."

Leslie, Esther, Walter Benjamin (Reaktion Books, 2008)
"It is as if, by evoking the tactile vitality of all that [Benjamin] touched with his thought, Leslie brings him back alive and kicking from the last border he crossed. Argue if you wish with his idea of 'aura,' his 'hierarchies of meaning,' or whether mechanical reproduction is good for the masses. But the mind that put Kafka and Chaplin into the same conceptual frame is his very own Klee painting, an Angelus Novus ? the angel of history." —John Leonard (Harper's)

Day, Leslie, Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)
"Combining the stunning paintings of Mark A. Klingler with a variety of photographs and maps, this book is a complete guide for the urban naturalist -- with tips on identifying the city's flora and fauna and maps showing the nearest subway stop."

Novacek, Michael, Terra: Our 100-Million-Year-Old Ecosystem--and the Threats That Now Put It at Risk (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)

Stoppard, Tom, The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck, Salvage (Grove Atlantic, 2007)
"... a long, elaborate pageant, populated by rank after rank of Russian intellectuals. ... These men and women believed, strenuously and deeply, in the creative and cleansing power of ideas. They saw it as the sacred duty of intellectuals to find and master the greatest thinkers and then to apply their theories to changing the world. ... Stoppard has made us see what it was like to love ideas with a whole heart, to fight for a better world with all one?s strength, to write for readers who waited for days for each new article, to hurt the people one loves most, and to insist that no ends, however good, can justify immoral means." (Anthony Grafton)

Davis, Mike & Daniel Bertrand Monk, eds., Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism (New Press, 2008)
"... a global guidebook to phantasmagoric but real places?alternate realities being constructed as 'utopias' in a capitalist era unfettered by unions and state regulation. These developments—in cities, deserts, and in the middle of the sea—are worlds where consumption and inequality surpass our worst nightmares." (publisher's blurb)

Solnit, Rebecca, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (Penguin, 2001)
"... a delightful, mind-expanding journey that strays from S?ren Kierkegaard's Copenhagen and William Wordsworth's Lake District to the top of Everest and the New Mexico desert, from the first hominids to walk upright (whoever and wherever they were) to contemporary women who face the hazards of solitary walking. It's a journey led by a guide of tremendous erudition and just as much common sense ..." (Salon)

Bortoft, Henri, The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe?s Way Toward a Science of Conscious Participation in Nature (Lindisfarne Books, 1996)
"Bortoft shows that a different, "gentler" kind of empiricism is possible than that demanded by the dualizing mind of modern technological science and demonstrates that Goethe?s participatory phenomenology of a new way of seeing?while far from being a historical curiosity?in fact proposes a practical solution to the dilemmas of contemporary, postmodern science." (publisher's blurb)

Sugrue, Thomas, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton University Press, 1998)
"Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today's urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II."

Thubron, Colin, Shadow of the Silk Road (HarperCollins, 2007)
"... encounters Islamic countries in many forms. It is about changes in China, transformed since the Cultural Revolution. It is about false nationalisms and the world's discontented margins, where the true boundaries are not political borders but the frontiers of tribe, ethnicity, language and religion. It is a magnificent and important account of an ancient world in modern ferment."

Scott, Peter Dale, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007)
"A powerful study of the historic origins of the terrorist strikes of September 11, this book offers an indispensable guide to the gluttonous cast of characters who, since Watergate and the fall of Nixon, fashioned an ever more reckless American empire. By exposing the corrupt U.S. 'deep state'-transfer of public authority to America's wealthy and to the nation's unaccountable secret intelligence agencies, The Road to 9/11 illuminates the path toward a more democratic and inclusive republic." ?David MacGregor

Stafford, William, Every War Has Two Losers (Milkweed Editions, 2007)
"Stafford showed that it is possible?and crucial?to think independently when fanatics act, and to speak for reconciliation when nations take sides. He believed it to be a failure of imagination to see only two options: to fight or to run away."

Ferber, Linda S. and Barbara Dayer Gallati, Masters of Color and Light: Homer, Sargent, and the American Watercolor Tradition (Smithsonian, 1998)

Lewis, David Levering, God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215 (W.W. Norton, 2007)

Nouvian, Claire, The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
?... not only the most stunningly beautiful book about the sea ever produced, but also a work of scientific substance, articulated by some of the best, most experienced deep-sea scientists of our time." ?Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society

Sides, Hampton, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West (Random House, 2006)
?For a huge percentage of us immigrant Americans (those whose ancestors arrived after 1492), Hampton Sides fills a gaping hole in our knowledge of American history?a vivid account of how ?The New Men? swept away the thriving civilizations of the Native Americans in their conquest of the West.?—Tony Hillerman

Aczel, Amir D., The Artist and the Mathematician: The Story of Nicolas Bourbaki, the Genius Mathematician Who Never Existed (Thunder's Mouth Press, 2006)

Impey, Chris, The Living Cosmos (Random House, 2007)
"an exhaustive and illuminating look at astrobiology, an exciting new science that is enthusiastically involved in the rigorous search for life in the universe."

Marshall, Joseph M., Hundreds in the Hand (Lakota Westerns) (Fulcrum, 2007)

Various authors, Eight books on Water
We recently visited the outstanding exhibition Water: H2O = Life at the American Museum of Natural History and concocted this list while browsing the obligatory gift shop at the exit. The exhibition illuminates one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century: humanity's sustainable management and use of the life-giving, but finite, resource, water.

Meldahl, Keith, Hard Road West: History and Geology Along the Gold Rush Trail (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
"Jet travel, interstate highways and our general expectation of comfort make it difficult for most Americans today to realize just how dauntingly big and rugged the American West is, and how difficult it was to traverse. Meldahl recovers that truth by taking us along as he navigates the whole of the California trail. ... 'The past becomes personal,? Meldahl writes, ?when you stand in the old wagon ruts and read what men and women thought and wrote while looking out at the same scenes.'" —John Mack Faragher

Lewis, Tom, Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (HarperCollins, 1991)

Lewis, Tom, Divided Highways: Building the Interstate Highways, Transforming American Life (Viking, 1997)

Howe, Daniel Walker, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 (Oxford University Press, 2007)

Currid, Elizabeth, The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art, and Music Drive New York City (Princeton University Press, 2007)
"Currid argues that creative industries like fashion, art, and music drive the economy of New York as much as--if not more than--finance, real estate, and law. And these creative industries are fueled by the social life that whirls around the clubs, galleries, music venues, and fashion shows where creative people meet, network, exchange ideas, pass judgments, and set the trends that shape popular culture."

Audeguy, Stephane, The Theory of Clouds (Harcourt, 2007)
"Audeguy's strange first novel ... is equally buoyant and weighty, and puts one in the mood for reverie. Winner of the prestigious Maurice Genevoix prize in France, where the author teaches art history, The Theory of Clouds has drifted over to America in an elegant translation by Timothy Bent."

Trofimov, Yaroslav, The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam's Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda (Doubleday, 2007)

Shorto, Russell, The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan (Random House, 2005)
"Shorto 'deconstructs' Manhattan, transforming it from the concrete-and-glass center of global power to a wooded wilderness island, home to wolves and bear, hunting ground for Indians. On this strategically located island, a largely forgotten collection of smugglers, traders, prostitutes, pirates, and entrepreneurs formed America's original melting pot, and created a society that helped shape the nation that was to come."

Riback, Estelle, The Intimate Landscape: A New Look at the Origins of the American Barbizon Movement (Lost Coast Press, 2004)

Varnedoe, Kirk, Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock (Princeton University Press, 2006)
"With brilliance, passion, and humor, Varnedoe addresses the skeptical attitudes and misunderstandings that we often bring to our experience of abstract art. Resisting grand generalizations, he makes a deliberate and scholarly case for abstraction--showing us that more than just pure looking is necessary to understand the self-made symbolic language of abstract art."

Freeland, Cynthia, But Is It Art? (Oxford University Press, 2001)
"Cynthia Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are valued in the arts, weaving together philosophy, art theory, and many engrossing examples. She discusses blood, beauty, culture, money, museums, sex, and politics, clarifying contemporary and historical accounts of the nature, function, and interpretation of the arts."

Larkin, Susan G., American Impressionism: The Beauty of Work (Frances Lincoln, 2006)
"Impressionism has long been twinned with leisure. ... Surprisingly ... many American Impressionists treated the theme of labor in both figurative paintings and landscapes. In both Europe and the United States, they depicted people at work and landscapes associated with work. In so doing, they avoided any suggestion of hardship, promoted shared ideals, and participated in shaping an American identity."

Blackbourn, David, The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany (W.W. Norton, 2007)
"... traces the rise of Germany through the development of water and landscape. David Blackbourn begins his morality tale in the mid-1700s, with the epic story of Frederick the Great, who attempted ... to transform the uninhabitable marshlands of his scattered kingdom into a modern state. Chronicling the great engineering projects that reshaped the mighty Rhine, the emergence of an ambitious German navy, and the development of hydroelectric power to fuel Germany's convulsive industrial growth before World War I, Blackbourn goes on to show how Nazi racial policies rested on German ideas of mastery of the natural world."

Kerouac, Jack, On the Road: The Original Scroll (Viking, 2007)
"The biggest immediate difference between the [original scroll] and the finished product ... is that while we know 'On the Road' as a novel ? the great novel of the Beat Generation ? the scroll is essentially nonfiction, a memoir that uses real names and is far less self-consciously literary. It is a dazzling piece of writing for all of its rough edges, and, stripped of affectations that in the novel can sometimes verge on bathos, as well as of gratuitous punctuation supplied by editors more devoted to rules than to music, it seems much more immediate and even contemporary." —Luc Santé

Auden, W.H. (editor), W.H. Auden's Book of Light Verse (New York Review Books, 2004)
"Auden's celebrated anthology of light verse ... is less a collection of humorous verses than a celebration of the popular voice in English, in which the work of great satirists like Swift and Byron keeps company with ballads, chanteys, ditties, nursery rhymes, street calls, bathroom graffiti, epitaphs, folk songs, vaudeville turns, limericks, and blues."

Cobb, Richard, Paris and Elsewhere (New York Review Books, 2004)
"Richard Cobb, the incomparable Oxford historian of the French Revolution, was a passionate admirer of the country, a connoisseur of the low dive and the flophouse, as well as a longtime familiar of the quays of Paris and the docks of Le Havre and Marseille."

Tolstaya, Tatyana, White Walls (New York Review Books, 2007)
"Tolstaya writes of lonely children and lost love, of philosophers of the absurd and poets working as janitors, of angels and halfwits. She shows how the extraordinary will suddenly erupt in the midst of ordinary life, as she explores the human condition with a matchless combination of unbound imagination and unapologetic sympathy."

Leacock, Richard, Nonsense Novels (New York Review Books, 2004)
"It is an understatement to regard Leacock purely as a funmaker. The often veiled satire of his nonsense reveals a sound philosophy. He is a keen critic who, like Lewis Carroll, wraps his deeper meaning in a mantle of mirth." ? New York Times

Van Vechten, Carl, The Tiger in the House: A Cultural History of the Cat (New York Review Books, 2007)
"As delightful as it is learned, Tiger in the House explores science, art, and history to assemble a treasury of cat lore, while Van Vechten's sumptuous baroque prose makes the book's every page an inexhaustible pleasure."

Lewontin, Richard, It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions (New York Review Books, 2001)
The work of molecular biologists "carries the weight of scientific authority and attracts widespread public attention, but it is often based on what the renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin identifies as a highly reductive misconception: 'the pervasive error that confuses the genetic state of an organism with its total physical and psychic nature as a human being.'"

Jordan, A. Van, Quantum Lyrics (W.W. Norton, 2007)
"Employing both narrative and cinematic structure, A. Van Jordan re-creates the lives of his subjects: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, comic-book superheroes (The Green Lantern, The Atom), along with aspects of himself revealed in poems of recollection and loss. With lyric intensity he suggests that contemporary physicists are also metaphysical poets."

Weisman, Alan, The World Without Us (St. Martin's Press, 2007)
"It?s a common fantasy to imagine that you?re the last person left alive on earth. But what if all human beings were suddenly whisked off the planet? ... In this extended thought experiment, Weisman does not specify exactly what finishes off Homo sapiens; instead he simply assumes the abrupt disappearance of our species and projects the sequence of events that would most likely occur in the years, decades and centuries afterward." -Scientific American review

Mawdsley, Ewan, Thunder in the East: The Nazi-Soviet War, 1941-1945

Davies, Norman, Europe at War, 1939-1945

Egan, Michael, Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival

Beatty, John, Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900 (Knopf, 2007)

Taleb, Nassim Nicholas, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Random House, 2007)
Taleb highlights the fundamental difference between life as we imagine it and life as it really is. He struggles to free us from our misguided allegiance to the bell-curve mindset and awaken us to the dominance of the "power law," where most values are below average and a few far above. In the realm of the power law, rare and extreme events dominate the action.

Allawi, Ali A., The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace (Yale University Press, 2007)

Brogan, Hugh, Alexis de Tocqueville: A Life (Yale University Press, 2007)
"... a magisterial account, 50 years in the making, that follows the precocious French nobleman through the swirling history of post-revolutionary France, the rutted roads of backwoods America, the bewildering comings and goings of different royalist and republican French governments, all the way to Tocqueville's somewhat controversial final hours in 1859. ... It is surely the authoritative life for our time." (Joseph J. Ellis)

Bowie, Malcolm, Proust Among the Stars (Columbia University Press, 2000)

Dalrymple, William, The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 (Bloomsbury, 2006)
"Dalrymple?s captivating book is not only great reading, it contributes very substantially too our understanding of the remarkable history of The Mughal empire in its dying days, and also to the history of Delhi, of India, of Hindu-Muslim collaboration, and of Indo-British relations in a critically important phase of imperialism and rebellion." (Amartya Sen)

Prashad, Vijay, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (The New Press, 2007)
"The thesis of the book circles around the Third World as a unique project on its own. Even as there have been far too many usages of "First" and "Second" Worlds in contrasts, the reader is never lost to the main point: that is, the Third World was not merely in response or reaction to the prevailing 'cold war' grand narration, but it was more importantly an independent culmination out of unique historical necessities to combat neocolonialism and to promote internationalist nationalism."

Allen, Theodore W., The Invention of the White Race: Racial Oppression and Social Control (Verso, 1994)
"The two-volume work presents a historical treatment of a few precisely defined concepts: of the essential nature of the social control structure of class societies; of racial oppression without reference to "phenotype" factors; of racial slavery in continental Anglo-America as a particular form of racial oppression; of the "white race"--an all-class association of European-Americans held together by "racial" privileges conferred on laboring-class European-Americans relative to African-Americans--as the principal historic guarantor of ruling-class domination of national life." ?Theodore W. Allen

Masters, Roger D., Fortune is a River: Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli's Magnificent Dream to Change the Course of Florentine History (Basic Books, 1998)
"In the early years of the sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci and Niccol? Machiavelli collaborated on an ambitious project to divert the course of the Arno, depriving Pisa of the benefits of the river's bounty and giving Florence a much-needed advantage over its enemy in war. ... Included in this comprehensive work is fascinating background on art, hydraulic engineering, the social and political milieu of Florence, religion, literature, westward exploration, and much more."

Just, Ward, Echo House (Houghton Mifflin, 1997)

Repcheck, Jack, The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of Earth's Antiquity

Cutler, Alan, The Seashell on the Mountaintop

Bell, David, The First Total War: Napoleon's Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (Houghton Mifflin, 2007)

Oakes, James, The Radical and the Republican: Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, and the Triumph of Antislavery (Norton, 2006)

Miller, Joe, Cross-X (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2007)

Joseph, Peniel E., Waiting 'til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (Henry Holt, 2006)

Fox, Robin Lane, Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian (Basic Books, 2006)

Lerman, Eleanor, Our Post-Soviet History Unfolds (Sarabande Books, 2006)

Powers,Richard, The Echo Maker (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006)

Lemann, Nicholas, Redemption: The Last Battle of the Civil War

Ahmad, Eqbal, Selected Writings (Columbia University Press, 2006)

Barnes, Martin & Kate Best, Twilight: Photography in the Magic Hour (Merrell, 2006)

Wickham, Chris, Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800 (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Mackey, Nathaniel, Splay Anthem (New Directions, 2006)

Behrens, Peter, The Law of Dreams (Steerforth Press, 2006)

Sachs, Aaron, The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism (Viking, 2006)

Toutonghi, Pauls, Red Weather (Shaye Areheart Books, 2006)

O'Toole, Judith Hansen, Different Views in Hudson River School Painting (Columbia University Press, 2006)

Stevens, Mark & Annalyn Swan, De Kooning (Random House, 2004)

Harvey, David, A Brief History of Neoliberalism (Oxford University Press, 2005)

Smith, Neil, The Endgame of Globalization (Routledge, 2004)

Dickson, Paul & Thomas B. Allen, The Bonus Army: An American Epic (Walker & Co., 2005)

Williams, David, A People's History of the Civil War: Struggles for the Meaning of Freedom (The New Press, 2006)

McPherson, James, Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution (Oxford University Press, 1992)

Raphael, Ray, A People's History of the American Revolution (The New Press, 2003)

Wills, Garry, Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power (Houghton Mifflin, 2003)

DuBois, W.E.B., John Brown (Random House/Modern Library, 2001)

Maier, Charles S., Among Empires: American Ascendancy and its Predecessors (Harvard University Press, 2006)

Davis, Mike, Planet of Slums (Verso, 2006)

Grandin, Greg, Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (Metropolitan Books, 2006)

Taylor, Alan, The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (Knopf, 2006)

Pope, Hugh, Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World (Overlook, 2006)

Findley, Carter Vaughan, The Turks in World History (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Finkel, Caroline, Osman's Dream: The Story of the Ottoman Empire 1300-1923 (Basic Books, 2005)

Guelzo, Allen C., Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

Barber, Lucy G., Marching on Washington: The Forging of an American Political Tradition (University of California Press, 2003)

Merridale, Catherine, Ivan's War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 (Henry Holt, 2006)

Trager, Oliver, Keys to the Rain: The Definitive Bob Dylan Encyclopedia (Watson-Guptill/Billboard Books, 2005)

Chaffin, Tom, Sea of Gray: The Around-the-World Odyssey of the Confederate Raider Shenandoah (Hill & Wang, 2006)

Vollman, William T., Uncentering the Earth: Copernicus and The Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres (W.W. Norton, 2006)

Scott, Eugenie C., Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction (Greenwood Press, 2004)

Morris, Richard, The Evolutionists (W. H. Freeman, 1991)

Eldredge, Niles, Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life (W. W. Norton, 2005)

Eldredge, Niles, Why We Do It: Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene (W. W. Norton, 2005)

Eldredge, Niles, The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism` (W. H. Freeman, 2000)

Conner, Clifford D., A People's History of Science: Miners, Midwives, and "Low Mechanicks" (Nation Books, 2005)

Hyde, Lewis, The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property (Vintage, 1983)

Roberts, Jennifer L., Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (Yale University Press, 2004)

Shapiro, Gary, Earthwards: Robert Smithson and Art After Babel (University of California Press, 1997)

Reynolds, Ann, Robert Smithson : Learning from New Jersey and Elsewhere (The MIT Press, 2004)

Hacker, Jacob & Paul Pierson, Off Center : The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy (Yale University Press, 2005)

Marquesee, Mike, Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the Sixties (Seven Stories Press, 2005)

Shadid, Anthony, Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War (Henry Holt, 2005)

Smith, Douglas & Gary Ferguson, Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone (Globe-Pequot Press, 2005)

Wilentz, Sean, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (Norton, 2005)

Sandoz, Mari, Crazy Horse: the Strange Man of the Oglalas (University of Nebraska Press, 2004)

Verbitsky, Horacio, The Flight: Confessions of an Argentine Dirty Warrior (The New Press, 2005)

Hirst, Paul Q., Space and Power: Politics, War and Architecture (Polity, 2005)

Kinsella, John, The New Arcadia (W.W. Norton, 2005)

Jacob, Margaret, & Larry Stewart, Practical Matter: Newton's Science in the Service of Industry and Empire, 1687-1851 (Harvard University Press, 2005)

Fletcher, Angus, A New Theory for American Poetry (Harvard University Press, 2005)

Anderson, Perry, The Origins of Postmodernity (Verso, 1998)

Burns, John Horne, The Gallery (New York Review Books, 2005)

Malaparte, Curzio, Kaputt (New York Review Books, 2005)

Ledig, Gert, The Stalin Front (New York Review Books, 2005)

Yaghmaian, Behzad, Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West (Delacorte Press)

Kaye, Harvey J., Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (Hill & Wang, 2005)

Klare, Michael, Blood and Oil (Owl Books/Henry Holt, 2005)

Wedgwood, C.V., The Thirty Years War (New York Review Books, 2005)

Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy (Harvard University Press, 2005)

Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (W.W. Norton, 2005)

Mark Van Doren, Shakespeare (New York Review Books, 2005)

Pickford, Joel, and Mark Arax, California Light: The Watercolors of Rollin Pickford (The Press at California State University Fresno, 1998)

Martin, Paul S., Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Rewilding of America (University of California Press, 2005)

Hayes, Brian, Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape (W.W. Norton, 2005)

(various), The Blueline Anthology (Syracuse University Press, 2004)

Jenkins, Jerry, The Adirondack Atlas (Syracuse University Press, 2004)

Farb, Nathan, The Adirondack Wilderness (Rizzolli, 2004)

Berman, Avis, Edward Hopper's New York (Pomegranate, 2005)

Eichenwald, Kurt, Conspiracy of Fools: A True Story (Broadway, 2005)

Tainter, Joseph, The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988)

Diamond, Jared, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Viking, 2004)

Mehta, Suketu, Maximum City (Knopf, 2004)

Dubois, Laurent, Avengers of the New World and A Colony of Citizens (Harvard Univ. Press and Univ. of N. Carolina Press, 2004)

Khalidi, Rashid, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East (Beacon Press, 2004)

Mossman, Dow, The Stones of Summer (Barnes & Noble, 2003)

Ricks, Christopher, Dylan's Visions of Sin (HarperCollins, 2004)

Machado, Antonio, Border of a Dream: Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)

Bly, Robert, The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations (HarperCollins, 2004)

Mamdani, Mahmood, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of Terror (Pantheon, 2004)

Gardner, James, Biocosm?The New Scientific Theory of Evolution: Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe (Inner Ocean, 2003)

McCourt, James, Queer Street: Rise and Fall of an American Culture, 1947-1985 (W.W. Norton, 2003)

McKinney, David, Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History (Harvard University Press, 2003)

Doherty, Thomas, Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture (Columbia University Press, 2003)

Grinspoon, David, Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life (HarperCollins, 2003)

Goldberg, Danny, Dispatches From the Culture Wars: How The Left Lost Teen Spirit (Miramax, 2003)

Henwood, Doug, After the New Economy (The New Press, 2003)

Gray, John, Al Qaeda and What It Means to Be Modern (Faber & Faber, 2003)

Prigogine, Ilya, The End of Certainty: Time, Chaos and the New Laws of Nature (Free Press, 1997)

Rheingold, Howard, Smart Mobs (Perseus Books, 2002)

Ward, Geoff, The Writing of America: Literature and Cultural Identity from the Puritans to the Present (Polity, 2002)

Lovink, Geert, Dark Fiber (MIT Press, 2002)

Taylor, Alan, American Colonies (Viking, 2001)
"Drawing in particular on environmental and ethnohistorical scholarship, Taylor underscores how various mixtures of peoples and products from Europe, Africa, and the Americas shaped and reshaped all of North America?s colonial and indigenous societies in the centuries after 1492."

Lethem, Jonathan, The Fortress of Solitude (Doubleday, 2003)
See also: Review/interview - Book magazine Review/interview -

Appadurai, Arjun, Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 1996)

Amram, David, Offbeat: Collaborating with Kerouac (Thunder?s Mouth Press, 2002)

Wardrip-Fruin, Noah, and Nick Montfort, eds., The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003)

Auster, Paul, The Story of My Typewriter (Distributed Art Publishers, 2002)

Barendse, R.J., The Arabian Seas: The Indian Ocean World of the Seventeenth Century (M.E. Sharpe, 2002)

Barrow, John D., The Book of Nothing: Vacuums, Voids, and the Latest Ideas About the Origins of the Universe (Pantheon, 2001)

Bentley, Peter, Digital Biology (Simon & Schuster, 2002)

Black, Brian, Petrolia: The Landscape of America's First Oil Boom (Creating the North American Landscape) (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000)

Clarke, Arthur C., How the World Was One (World Publications)

Deming, Alison Hawthorne, The Edges of the Civilized World (Picador, 1999)

Finley, Gerald, Angel in the Sun: Turner's Vision of History (McGill-Queens University Press, 1999)

Gatti, Hilary, Giordano Bruno and Renaissance Science (Cornell University Press, 1999)

Goldsmith, Donald, The Runaway Universe: The Race to Find the Future of the Cosmos (Perseus Books, 2000)

Lavery, David, Late for the Sky: The Mentality of the Space Age (Southern Illinois University P, 1992)

Kuhn, Thomas, The Road Since Structure (University of Chicago Press, 2000)

Marks, Leo, Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker?s War 1941-1945 (Free Press, 1999)

McGimpsey, David, Imagining Baseball: America's Pastime and Popular Culture (Indiana University Press, 2000)

McNeill, William H. & J.R. McNeill, The Human Web: A Bird?s-Eye View of World History (W.W. Norton, 2002)

Olds, Bruce, Bucking the Tiger (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001)
A fictional foray into the life of Doc Holliday, one of the Old West?s most charmingly sinister characters, told through a combination of first-person narrative, poetry, and real and fabricated documents.

Pomeranz, Kenneth, The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (Princeton University Press, 2000)

Ondaatje, Michael, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film (Alfred A. Knopf, 2002)

Rabinowitz, Alan, Beyond the Last Village: A Journey of Discovery in Asia?s Forbidden Wilderness (Island Press, 2001)

Savigliano, Marta, Tango and the Political Economy of Passion (Institutional Structures of Feeling) (Westview Press, 1994)