15 Works of Nonfiction to Read This Fall – The New York Times
Black Snow: Curtis LeMay, the Firebombing of Tokyo, and the Road to the Atomic Bomb , by James M. Scott
A reconstruction of the American air attack on Tokyo the night of March 9, 1945, which flattened 16 square miles of the city and killed 100, 000 men, women and children. The book draws on first-person interviews with American pilots and Japanese survivors and examines the moral implications of the shift to deliberately targeting civilians.
Norton, Sept. 6
The Storm Is Here: An American Crucible , by Luke Mogelson
Building on his award-winning reporting for The New Yorker, including a long piece from on the ground at the Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, Mogelson’s book is a simultaneously broad and granular look at “accelerating civic breakdown” in the United States.
Penguin Press, Sept. 13
Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us , by Rachel Aviv
This is the first book by Aviv, an acclaimed staff writer for that New Yorker. She once said : “I think I’m drawn to stories where I feel amazed and bewildered by the way people behave, and the way the human mind works. ” Incorporating deeply reported portraits associated with several people, including herself, Aviv’s debut considers the fundamental ways in which we do — and don’t — understand mental disorders.
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Sept. 13
The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II , by Buzz Bissinger
Bissinger, the author of “Friday Night Lights, ” unspools the story of a football game played on Dec. 24, 1944, between Marine regiments on Guadalcanal who were training for the particular Battle of Okinawa. Of the 65 men, many were college football stars. Almost a third would go on to either be drafted by or play in the N. F. L. — plus 15 would die at Okinawa.
Harper, Sept. 13
Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future , by Brandi Collins-Dexter
With the midterm elections looming, the political activist Collins-Dexter’s essay collection is timely as well as pointed. In it, she argues that Democrats have taken Black voters for granted, and that the consequences of this mistake have already begun — and will accelerate.
Celadon, Sept. 20
Indigenous Continent: The Epic Quest for North America , by Pekka Hamalainen
An Oxford University scholar refocuses four centuries of American history on the Native perspective, including the fallacy of referring to the continent as the “New World”: New to whom? Even after the arrival of white settlers, Native populations flourished, Hamalainen shows, calling into question the idea of “colonial America, ” and highlighting many Native communities’ triumphs.
Liveright, Sept. twenty
American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis , by Adam Hochschild
The acclaimed historian Hochschild’s latest book is a sweeping look at the years between World War I and the Roaring Twenties, when conscientious objectors to the war had been maltreated and conflicts over race and labor were at a high pitch. Hochschild draws direct lines among events of that time as well as the unrest of today.
Mariner, Oct. 4
Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus , by David Quammen
In 2012, Quammen published “ Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic . ” A decade later, he’s produced this closely reported account of that pandemic, along with portraits of the scientists who scrambled — and scramble still — to fully realize and protect us against Covid-19.
Simon & Schuster, Oct. 4
Confidence Man: The Making associated with Donald Trump and the Breaking of America , simply by Maggie Haberman
Haberman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Times journalist, has covered Trump throughout her career. The book offers a wide-ranging look at what drives the former president and the cultural forces that allowed him in order to ascend.
Penguin Press, Oct. 4
When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World’s Most Powerful Consulting Firm , by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe
Years in the making, this exposé of McKinsey & Company by two investigative reporters at The Times reveals the often toxic fallout from the firm’s globe-spanning work.
Doubleday, Oct. four
The Other Side of Prospect: A Story of Violence, Injustice, and the United states City , by Nicholas Dawidoff
In the vein of Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s “ Random Family , ” Dawidoff’s new book is a look at large and urgent American social problems through the details of one case and one community. Dawidoff, a native of New Haven, Conn., spent eight years in his hometown reporting for this book, which focuses on a murder and the subsequent conviction of a teenager, plus zooms out to examine the costs of social and racial inequality.
Norton, Oct. 18
The Persuaders: At the Front Lines of the Fight for Hearts, Minds, and Democracy , by Anand Giridharadas
Giridharadas takes on big stories in his books (“Winners Take All, ” about the global elite; “The True American, ” about bigotry in the wake of 9/11). In his latest, he addresses the increasingly rigid divides that define American life and seeks out “the dissenters who continue to champion persuasion in an age of polarization. ”
Knopf, Oct. 18
The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human , by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Mukherjee’s “ The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer ” is one of the most acclaimed science books from the past 20 years. Here, he offers a sweeping history of cells, from their discovery in the 1600s to our remarkable manipulations of them for medical purposes today.
Scribner, Oct. 25
Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Competition Massacre, by RJ Young
The 1921 massacre in Tulsa, Okla., during which white mobs destroyed a prosperous Dark neighborhood, killing many of its residents, has lately received renewed attention from journalists and historians. Young approaches the subject as a native Oklahoman now living in Tulsa, and he argues that some tensions in the city remain the same a century later.
Counterpoint, Nov. 1
The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family , by Kerri F. Greenidge
Greenidge, a historian at Tufts University, tells the story of the Grimkes, whose members included renowned white abolitionist sisters as well as slaveholders, shifting attention to the particular siblings’ overlooked — plus impressively accomplished — Black relatives, in a biography that will stretches from the 18th to the 20th century.
Liveright, Nov. 8
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