What’s New – Non-Fiction

The Accident of Color

A technicolor history of the first civil rights movement and its collapse into black and white.

In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

The Accident of Color revisits a crucial inflection point in American history. By returning to the birth of our nation’s singularly narrow racial system, which was forged in the crucible of opposition to civil rights, Brook illuminates the origins of the racial lies we live by.

Read More Check Catalog

Justice on Trial

In this definitive deep dive into the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, two women with extraordinary behind-the-scenes access—The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway and Judicial Crisis Network senior counsel Carrie Severino—reveal what really happened and explore what the bitterly divisive hearings mean for the future of the Court and the battle for the soul of America.

Read More Check Catalog

Elderhood

As revelatory as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, physician and award-winning author Louise Aronson’s Elderhood is an essential, empathetic look at a vital but often disparaged stage of life.

For more than 5,000 years, “old” has been defined as beginning between the ages of 60 and 70. That means most people alive today will spend more years in elderhood than in childhood, and many will be elders for 40 years or more. Yet at the very moment that humans are living longer than ever before, we’ve made old age into a disease, a condition to be dreaded, denigrated, neglected, and denied.

Reminiscent of Oliver Sacks, noted Harvard-trained geriatrician Louise Aronson uses stories from her quarter century of caring for patients, and draws from history, science, literature, popular culture, and her own life to weave a vision of old age that’s neither nightmare nor utopian fantasy–a vision full of joy, wonder, frustration, outrage, and hope about aging, medicine, and humanity itself.

Elderhood is for anyone who is, in the author’s own words, “an aging, i.e., still-breathing human being.”

Read More Check Catalog

I Like To Watch

From The New Yorker’s fiercely original, Pulitzer Prize-winning culture critic, a provocative collection of new and previously published essays arguing that we are what we watch.

“Emily Nussbaum is the perfect critic—smart, engaging, funny, generous, and insightful.”—David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon

From her creation of the “Approval Matrix” in New York magazine in 2004 to her Pulitzer Prize–winning columns for The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum has argued for a new way of looking at TV. In this collection, including two never-before-published essays, Nussbaum writes about her passion for television, beginning with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the show that set her on a fresh intellectual path. She explores the rise of the female screw-up, how fans warp the shows they love, the messy power of sexual violence on TV, and the year that jokes helped elect a reality-television president. There are three big profiles of television showrunners—Kenya Barris, Jenji Kohan, and Ryan Murphy—as well as examinations of the legacies of Norman Lear and Joan Rivers. The book also includes a major new essay written during the year of #MeToo, wrestling with the question of what to do when the artist you love is a monster.

More than a collection of reviews, the book makes a case for toppling the status anxiety that has long haunted the “idiot box,” even as it transformed. Through it all, Nussbaum recounts her fervent search, over fifteen years, for a new kind of criticism, one that resists the false hierarchy that elevates one kind of culture (violent, dramatic, gritty) over another (joyful, funny, stylized). I Like to Watch traces her own struggle to punch through stifling notions of “prestige television,” searching for a more expansive, more embracing vision of artistic ambition—one that acknowledges many types of beauty and complexity and opens to more varied voices. It’s a book that celebrates television as television, even as each year warps the definition of just what that might mean.

Read More Check Catalog

On The Clock
The bitingly funny, eye-opening story of a college-educated young professional who finds work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly labor

After the local newspaper where she worked as a reporter closed, Emily Guendelsberger took a pre-Christmas job at an Amazon fulfillment center outside Louisville, Kentucky. There, the vending machines were stocked with painkillers, and the staff turnover was dizzying. In the new year, she travelled to North Carolina to work at a call center, a place where even bathroom breaks were timed to the second. And finally, Guendelsberger was hired at a San Francisco McDonald’s, narrowly escaping revenge-seeking customers who pelted her with condiments.

Across three jobs, and in three different parts of the country, Guendelsberger directly took part in the revolution changing the U.S. workplace. ON THE CLOCK takes us behind the scenes of the fastest-growing segment of the American workforce to understand the future of work in America – and its present. Until robots pack boxes, resolve billing issues, and make fast food, human beings supervised by AI will continue to get the job done. Guendelsberger shows us how workers went from being the most expensive element of production to the cheapest – and how low wage jobs have been remade to serve the ideals of efficiency, at the cost of humanity.

ON THE CLOCK explores the lengths that half of Americans will go to in order to make a living, offering not only a better understanding of the modern workplace, but also surprising solutions to make work more humane for millions of Americans.

Read More Check Catalog

The Vagabond

The fascinating story of two American giants—Henry Ford and Thomas Edison—whose annual summer sojourns introduced the road trip to our culture and made the automobile an essential part of modern life, even as their own relationship altered dramatically. 

In 1914 Henry Ford and naturalist John Burroughs visited Thomas Edison in Florida and toured the Everglades. The following year Ford, Edison, and tire maker Harvey Firestone joined together on a summer camping trip and decided to call themselves the Vagabonds. They would continue their summer road trips until 1925, when they announced that their fame made it too difficult for them to carry on.

Although the Vagabonds traveled with an entourage of chefs, butlers, and others, this elite fraternity also had a serious purpose: to examine the conditions of America’s roadways and improve the practicality of automobile travel. Cars were unreliable and the roads were even worse. But newspaper coverage of these trips was extensive, and as cars and roads improved, the summer trip by automobile soon became a desired element of American life.

In The Vagabonds Jeff Guinn shares the story of this pivotal moment in American history. But he also examines the important relationship between the older Edison and the younger Ford, who once worked for the famous inventor. The road trips made the automobile ubiquitous and magnified Ford’s reputation, even as Edison’s diminished. The automobile had come of age and it would transform the American landscape, the American economy, and the American way of life.

Guinn brings to life this seminal moment when a new industry created a watershed cultural shift and a famous businessman became a prominent political figure. The Vagabonds is a wonderful story of two American giants and the transformation of the country.

Read More Check Catalog

Talking to Robots

Award-winning journalist David Ewing Duncan considers 24 visions of possible human-robot futures—Incredible scenarios from Teddy Bots to Warrior Bots, and Politician Bots to Sex Bots—Grounded in real technologies and possibilities and inspired by our imagination. 

What robot and AI systems are being built and imagined right now? What do they say about us, their creators? Will they usher in a fantastic new future, or destroy us? What do some of our greatest thinkers, from physicist Brian Greene and futurist Kevin Kelly to inventor Dean Kamen, geneticist George Church, and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, anticipate about our human-robot future? For even as robots and A.I. intrigue us and make us anxious about the future, our fascination with robots has always been about more than the potential of the technology–it’s also about what robots tell us about being human.

Read More Check Catalog

Aloha Rodeo

The triumphant true story of the native Hawaiian cowboys who shocked America at the 1908 world rodeo championships

“An inspiring and impeccably crafted story of against-all-odds triumph.” —Simon Winchester

“Groundbreaking. … Not only a must-read, but an essential addition. … One of the best single volumes on the rise and diversity of the North American cattle industry and the cowboy culture.” —True West

In August 1908, three unknown riders arrived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, their hats adorned with wildflowers, to compete in the world’s greatest rodeo. Steer-roping virtuoso Ikua Purdy and his cousins Jack Low and Archie Ka’au’a had travelled 4,200 miles from Hawaii, of all places, to test themselves against the toughest riders in the West. Dismissed by whites, who considered themselves the only true cowboys, the native Hawaiians would astonish the country, returning home champions—and American legends.

An unforgettable human drama set against the rough-knuckled frontier, David Wolman and Julian Smith’s Aloha Rodeo unspools the fascinating and little-known true story of the Hawaiian cowboys, or paniolo, whose 1908 adventure upended the conventional history of the American West.

What few understood when the three paniolo rode into Cheyenne is that the Hawaiians were no underdogs. They were the product of a deeply engrained cattle culture that was twice as old as that of the Great Plains, for Hawaiians had been chasing cattle over the islands’ rugged volcanic slopes and through thick tropical forests since the late 1700s.

Tracing the life story of Purdy and his cousins, Wolman and Smith delve into the dual histories of ranching and cowboys in the islands, and the meteoric rise and sudden fall of Cheyenne, “Holy City of the Cow.” At the turn of the twentieth century, larger-than-life personalities like “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Theodore Roosevelt capitalized on a national obsession with the Wild West and helped transform Cheyenne’s annual Frontier Days celebration into an unparalleled rodeo spectacle, the “Daddy of ‘em All.”

The hopes of all Hawaii rode on the three riders’ shoulders during those dusty days in August 1908. The U.S. had forcibly annexed the islands just a decade earlier. The young Hawaiians brought the pride of a people struggling to preserve their cultural identity and anxious about their future under the rule of overlords an ocean away. In Cheyenne, they didn’t just astound the locals; they also overturned simplistic thinking about cattle country, the binary narrative of “cowboys versus Indians,” and the very concept of the Wild West. Blending sport and history, while exploring questions of identity, imperialism, and race, Aloha Rodeo spotlights an overlooked and riveting chapter in the saga of the American West.

Read More Check Catalog

America's Reluctant Prince

A major new biography of John F. Kennedy Jr. from a leading historian who was also a close friend, America’s Reluctant Prince is a deeply researched, personal, surprising, and revealing portrait of the Kennedy heir the world lost too soon.
 
Through the lens of their decades-long friendship and including exclusive interviews and details from previously classified documents, noted historian and New York Times bestselling author Steven M. Gillon examines John F. Kennedy Jr.’s life and legacy from before his birth to the day he died. Gillon covers the highs, the lows, and the surprising incidents, viewpoints, and relationships that John never discussed publicly, revealing the full story behind JFK Jr.’s complicated and rich life. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy—rather, it’s the true key to understanding both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s First Family continues to shape the world we live in today.

Read More Check Catalog

Reboot

One of the start-up world’s most in-demand executive coaches—hailed as the “CEO Whisperer” (Gimlet Media)—reveals why radical self-inquiry is critical to professional success and healthy relationships in all realms of life.

Jerry Colonna helps start-up CEOs make peace with their demons, the psychological habits and behavioral patterns that have helped them to succeed—molding them into highly accomplished individuals—yet have been detrimental to their relationships and ultimate well-being. Now, this venture capitalist turned executive coach shares his unusual yet highly effective blend of Buddhism, Jungian therapy, and entrepreneurial straight talk to help leaders overcome their own psychological traumas. Reboot is a journey of radical self-inquiry, helping you to reset your life by sorting through the emotional baggage that is holding you back professionally, and even more important, in your relationships.

Jerry has taught CEOs and their top teams to realize their potential by using the raw material of their lives to find meaning, to build healthy interpersonal bonds, and to become more compassionate and bold leaders. In Reboot, he inspires everyone to hold themselves responsible for their choices and for the possibility of truly achieving their dreams.

Work does not have to destroy us. Work can be the way in which we achieve our fullest self, Jerry firmly believes. What we need, sometimes, is a chance to reset our goals and to reconnect with our deepest selves and with each other. Reboot moves and empowers us to begin this journey.

Read More Check Catalog

Crazy Man, Crazy

Bill Haley – the man who brought rock ‘n’ roll into the mainstream. His song “Crazy Man, Crazy” was the first rock ‘n’ roll song to break the Billboard Top 20 in 1953 and was followed by his evergreen “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock ” the first song of its kind to hit #1. His success made him an idol not only in the US but throughout the world, from Canada to the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and beyond. Yet Haley is often overlooked in the story of rock ‘n’ roll, overshadowed by others who followed him, from sex symbol Elvis Presley to wild man Jerry Lee Lewis and forever-young Buddy Holly.

But Haley’s lack of visibility was in part his own doing: he had conflicted feelings about fame, was extremely private, suffered chronic alcoholism, and troubled relationships with multiple wives, which yielded ten children who he struggled to support. Though he managed to carry on a successful touring career, his demons eventually eroded his health, and in 1981, at the age of only 55, he passed away.

This book is written by esteemed biographer Peter Benjaminson and Bill Haley Jr., Haley’s son, a musician himself, who tours the world paying tribute to his father’s music. Culled from interviews with insiders – from ex-wives to the Comets, recorded conversations with Haley Sr., official documents, diaries, and more, this book not only charts the happenings of Haley’s career but gives insight into the Haley behind the curtain and some of the other trials he faced, from the dark side of the music business to ties with Mafia. Featuring a collection of rare photographs, this book is a must-have for any serious rock ‘n’ roll fan.

Read More Check Catalog

In The Valleys of the Noble Beyond

On the central and north coast of British Columbia, the Great Bear Rainforest is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, containing more organic matter than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. The area plays host to a wide range of species, from thousand-year-old western cedars to humpback whales to iconic white Spirit bears.

According to local residents, another giant is said to live in these woods. For centuries people have reported encounters with the Sasquatch―a species of hairy bipedal man-apes said to inhabit the deepest recesses of this pristine wilderness. Driven by his own childhood obsession with the creatures, John Zada decides to seek out the diverse inhabitants of this rugged and far-flung coast, where nearly everyone has a story to tell, from a scientist who dedicated his life to researching the Sasquatch, to members of the area’s First Nations, to a former grizzly bear hunter-turned-nature tour guide. With each tale, Zada discovers that his search for the Sasquatch is a quest for something infinitely more complex, cutting across questions of human perception, scientific inquiry, indigenous traditions, the environment, and the power and desire of the human imagination to believe in―or reject―something largely unseen.

Teeming with gorgeous nature writing and a driving narrative that takes us through the forests and into the valleys of a remote and seldom visited region, In the Valleys of the Noble Beyond sheds light on what our decades-long pursuit of the Sasquatch can tell us about ourselves and invites us to welcome wonder for the unknown back into our lives.

Read More Check Catalog

William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock n Roll

William S. Burroughs’s fiction and essays are legendary, but his influence on music’s counterculture has been less well documented—until now. Examining how one of America’s most controversial literary figures altered the destinies of many notable and varied musicians, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock ‘n’ Roll reveals the transformations in music history that can be traced to Burroughs.

A heroin addict and a gay man, Burroughs rose to notoriety outside the conventional literary world; his masterpiece, Naked Lunch, was banned on the grounds of obscenity, but its nonlinear structure was just as daring as its content. Casey Rae brings to life Burroughs’s parallel rise to fame among daring musicians of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, when it became a rite of passage to hang out with the author or to experiment with his cut-up techniques for producing revolutionary lyrics (as the Beatles and Radiohead did). Whether they tell of him exploring the occult with David Bowie, providing Lou Reed with gritty depictions of street life, or counseling Patti Smith about coping with fame, the stories of Burroughs’s backstage impact will transform the way you see America’s cultural revolution—and the way you hear its music.

Read More Check Catalog

More Than Enough

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The millennial Becoming . . . Inspiring and empowering.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“A must read for women of all ages . . . The perfect graduation gift.” —PopSugar

In this part-manifesto, part-memoir, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your own—on your own terms

Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of an unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers.

Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and often the only Black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough.

Read More Check Catalog

Anthony Bourdain Remembered

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A moving and insightful collection of quotes, memories, and images celebrating the life of Anthony Bourdain 

When Anthony Bourdain died in June 2018, the outpouring of love from his fans around the world was momentous. The tributes spoke to his legacy: That the world is much smaller than we imagine and people are more alike than they are different. As Bourdain once said, “If I’m an advocate of anything, it’s to move…Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.”

Anthony Bourdain Remembered brings together memories and anecdotes from fans reminiscing about Bourdain’s unique achievements and his enduring effect on their lives as well as comments from chefs, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspired by Bourdain including Barack Obama, Eric Ripert, Jill Filipovic, Ken Burns, Questlove, and José Andrés, among many others.

These remembrances give us a glimpse of Bourdain’s widespread impact through his political and social commitments; his dedication to travel and eating well (and widely); and his love of the written word, along with his deep compassion, open-mindedness, and interest in lives different from his own.

Anthony Bourdain Remembered captures Bourdain’s inimitable spirit and passion in the words of his devoted fans as well as some of his closest friends and colleagues.

Read More Check Catalog