What’s Past Is Prologue
B; A;;;; C;;;;;
Many of the big history books this season find relevance
in crises facing the world today (migration, institutional
racism, global warming), luring readers with the promise
that examining the past holds clues to a better future.
East West Street: On the Origins of “Genocide” and “Crimes Against Humanity”
Philippe Sands. Knopf, May 24
Internationally renowned human rights lawyer Sands uncovers the creation and development
of world-changing legal concepts that established humanitarian law, the result of the
unprecedented atrocities of Hitler’s Third Reich.
The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship;
Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice
Patricia Bell-Scott. Knopf, Feb. 2
Two decades in the works, this book focuses on the unlikely friendship between Pauli Murray
and Eleanor Roosevelt that critically shaped Roosevelt’s, and F.D.R.’s, view of race and racism in
Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea
Mitchell Duneier. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Apr. 19
Princeton sociology professor Duneier traces the idea of the ghetto from its beginnings in the
16th century and its revival by the Nazis to the present day.
The Great Departure:
Mass Migration from Eastern Europe and the Making of the Free World
Tara Zahra. Norton, Mar. 21
Zahra explores the deeper story of this astonishing movement of people—one of the largest in
human history, and promises to provide insights to the refugee crisis of today.
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero
Timothy Egan. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 1
National Book Award–winner Egan carves out the colorful life of Thomas Francis Meagher, the
audacious Irishman who moved to the U.S. and led the Irish Brigade during the Civil War.
In Europe’s Shadow:
Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond
Robert D. Kaplan. Random House, Feb. 9
Kaplan blends memoir, travelogue, journalism, and history to provide a potent examination of
the forces that will determine Europe’s fate in the postmodern age.
The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer
Skip Hollandsworth. Holt, Apr. 5
True-crime aficionados are likely already aware of this long-awaited title from Hollandsworth,
which recently received a PW starred review.
Paper: Paging Through History
Mark Kurlansky. Norton, May 16
In recent years there have been many books on the history of paper, but given the success of
Cod and Salt, Kurlansky’s promises to be one of the more popular ones.
Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939
Adam Hochschild. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar. 29
The author of King Leopold’s Ghost adds to his multidimensional portrayals of historical
characters in this collection of stories about many involved in the Spanish Civil War.
Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America
Douglas Brinkley. Harper, Mar. 15
Historian Brinkley’s books are known for exhibiting an impressive range of knowledge and fluid
narrative skill, so readers can expect more of the same in his latest, which chronicles F.D.R.’s
“undersung” legacy as premier protector of America’s public lands.
HISTORY TOP 10