The Most Famous Man in America
by Debby Applegate (Doubleday)
Henry Ward Beecher was a charismatic preacher and abolitionist superstar, until a late-nineteenth-century sex scandal brought him down.
by Charles J. Shields (Holt)
A life of Harper Lee, who wrote one novel and then dropped from sight, refusing all interview requests (including the author’s) for the past forty years.
by Randall B. Woods (Free Press)
Lyndon B. Johnson was undoubtedly flawed—just not as much as some other biographers would have it.
by William Ashworth (Norton)
The story of a massive aquifer beneath the Great Plains, and the dire environmental and economic consequences that would come with its depletion.
by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen (HarperCollins)
An updated look at the American way of death, surveying such contemporary curiosities as Harley-Davidson-themed funerals and diamonds made from loved ones’ ashes.
The Price of Privilege
by Madeline Levine (HarperCollins)
A clinical psychologist assesses the ennui epidemic among today’s teens, and points the finger at meddling parents and the dulling effects of affluence.
Food Is Love
by Katherine J. Parkin (Pennsylvania)
A history of American food advertisers’ appeals to female consumers: generous portions of idealized comfort and gnawing guilt.
Staying Up Much Too Late
by Gordon Theisen (St. Martin’s)
An interdisciplinary meditation on Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, which here emerges as a compelling monument to thwartedness that challenges the standard narrative of can-do American optimism.
They Played the Game
edited by Stephen Randall (M Press)
A collection of Playboy interviews conducted with sports stars, including Hank Aaron, O. J. Simpson, and Brett Favre.
Forty Million Dollar Slaves
by William C. Rhoden (Crown)
A New York Times sports columnist examines the plight of the modern black athlete.