Thursday, February 29, 2024

"All Our Yesterdays"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: All Our Yesterdays: A Novel of Lady Macbeth by Joel H. Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:

A propulsive and piercing debut, set ten years before the events of Shakespeare’s historic play, about the ambition, power, and fate that define one of literature’s most notorious figures: Lady Macbeth.

Scotland, the 11th Century. Born in a noble household and granddaughter of a forgotten Scottish king, a young girl carries the guilt of her mother’s death and the weight of an unknowable prophecy. When she is married, at fifteen, to the Mormaer of Moray, she experiences firsthand the violence of a sadistic husband and a kingdom constantly at war. To survive with her young son in a superstitious realm, she must rely on her own cunning and wit, especially when her husband’s downfall inadvertently sets them free.

Suspicious of the dark devices that may have led to his father’s death, her son watches as his mother falls in love with the enigmatic thane Macbeth. Now a woman of stature, Lady Macbeth confronts a world of masculine power and secures the protection of her family. But the coronation of King Duncan and the political maneuvering of her cousin Macduff set her on a tragic course, one where her own success might mean embracing the very curse that haunts her and risking the child she loves.
Visit Joel H. Morris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"War by Agreement"

New from Oxford University Press: War by Agreement: A Contractarian Ethics of War by Yitzhak Benbaji and Daniel Statman.

About the book, from the publisher:

War by Agreement presents a new theory on the ethics of war. Benbaji and Statman argue that wars can be morally justified at both the ad bellum level (the political decision to go to war) and the in bello level (the actual conduct of the military) by accepting a contractarian account of the rules governing war. According to this account, the rules of war are anchored in a mutually beneficial and fair agreement between the relevant players―the purpose of which is to promote peace and to reduce the horrors of war. This account relies on the long social contract tradition and illustrates its fruitfulness in understanding and developing the morality and the law of war.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Little Underworld"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Little Underworld: A Novel by Chris Harding Thornton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Omaha, 1930. When ex-cop-turned-PI Jim Beely murders the man who assaulted his fourteen-year-old daughter, the last person he wants to see is local crooked cop Frank Tvrdik. Luckily, Frank isn’t interested in the lifeless body in Jim’s car. Frank has a proposition: he’ll make the dead man disappear if Jim helps take down Elmer Kobb, who is vying for city commissioner and willing to backstab anyone who gets in his way.

Soon, Jim and Frank are sucked into a seedy world of crime and corruption, where no one is safe and nothing is what it seems. Then Jim is violently attacked and one of his operatives turns up dead within the span of twelve hours, and his search for the truth yields a web of lies and a mounting death toll. As he and Frank are pulled deeper into the city’s dark underbelly and its absurd political machinations, Jim begins to question everything he knows about Omaha and his place in it.

In her moody, ferocious, and darkly funny follow-up to Pickard County Atlas, a novel Tana French called a "slow-burning beauty of a book," the native Nebraskan Chris Harding Thornton mines Omaha's sordid past, melding fact and fiction into an unforgettable tale of danger and deceit. Little Underworld asks: What does it mean to be good, and what is left for those of us who aren’t?
Visit Chris Harding Thornton's website.

Q&A with Chris Harding Thornton.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Information, Institutions, and Local Government in England, 1550-1700"

New from Oxford University Press: Information, Institutions, and Local Government in England, 1550-1700: Turning Inside by Paul Griffiths.

About the book, from the publisher:

The years between 1550 and 1700 saw significant changes in the nature and scope of local government: sophisticated information and intelligence systems were developed; magistrates came to rely more heavily on surveillance to inform 'good government'; and England's first nationwide system of incarceration was established within bridewells. But while these sizeable and lasting shifts have been well studied, less attention has been paid to the important characteristic that they shared: the 'turning inside' of the title. What was happening beneath this growth in activity was a shift from 'open' to 'closed' management of a host of problems--from the representation of authority itself to treatment of every kind of local disorder, from petty crime and poverty to dirty streets.

Information, Institutions, and Local Government in England, 1550-1700 explores the character and consequences of these changes for the first time. Drawing on wide-ranging archival research in 34 archives, the book examines the ways in which the notion of representing authority and ethics in public (including punishment) was increasingly called into question in early modern England, and how and why local government officials were involved in this. This 'turning inside' was encouraged by insistence on precision and clarity in broad bodies of knowledge, culture, and practice that had lasting impacts on governance, as well as a range of broader demographic, social, and economic changes that led to deeper poverty, thinner resources, more movement, and imagined or real crime-waves. In so doing, and by drawing on a diverse range of examples, the book offers important new perspectives on local government, visual representation, penal cultures, institutions, incarceration, and surveillance in the early modern period.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

"The Butcher of the Forest"

New from Tordotcom: The Butcher of the Forest by Premee Mohamed.

About the book, from the publisher:

A world-weary woman races against the clock to survive a deadly forest in this dark, otherworldly fairytale from Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author Premee Mohamed.

At the northern edge of a land ruled by a merciless foreign tyrant lies a wild, forbidden forest ruled by powerful magic.

Veris Thorn―the only one to ever enter the forest and survive―is forced to go back inside to retrieve the tyrant's missing children. Inside await traps and trickery, ancient monsters, and hauntings of the past.

One day is all Veris is afforded. One misstep will cost everything.
Visit Premee Mohamed's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


Coming soon from The MIT Press: Decisionscape: How Thinking Like an Artist Can Improve Our Decision-Making by Elspeth Kirkman.

About the book, from the publisher:

How thinking like an artist can improve our decision making and provide the perspective necessary to make better choices.

Why are so many of our decisions regrettable, and what can we do about it? Decisionscape maps the surprising ways that our decisions are influenced and how thinking like an artist can help us deliberately arrange our perspective to make better choices. Introducing the concept of a “decisionscape,” Elspeth Kirkman blends art and science with insights from moral philosophy, sports, geopolitics, and elsewhere to explore decision making in a refreshingly original way. A broadly appealing and relatable book, Decisionscape asks us to confront the prejudices, blind spots, and hypocrisy in our day-to-day thinking.

When we make choices, Kirkman explains, we act like an artist arranging objects on a canvas, using our system of perspective to compose a mental representation of the world. This decisionscape includes a foreground and background, a frame, a fixed viewpoint, and outside influences. Organized into four parts that unpack a different facet of the book’s organizing principle, Decisionscape shows how psychological distance dictates what we prioritize and diminish, how the big picture can often look different from its parts, how culture and context frame decisions, and how personal worldviews alter how we interpret information. Complex, timely, and breezy, Decisionscape addresses one of the most fundamental human experiences: making better decisions to live our best life.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Doubleday: Victim: A Novel by Andrew Boryga.

About the book, from the publisher:

There’s a fine line between bending the truth and telling bold-faced lies, and Javier Perez is willing to cross it. Victim is a fearless satire about a hustler from the Bronx who sees through the veneer of diversity initiatives and decides to cash in on the odd currency of identity. Javier Perez is a hustler from a family of hustlers. He learns from an early age how to play the game to his own advantage, how his background—murdered drug dealer dad, single cash-strapped mom, best friend serving time for gang activity—can be a key to doors he didn’t even know existed. This kind of story, molded in the right way, is just what college admissions committees are looking for, and a full academic scholarship to a prestigious university brings Javi one step closer to his dream of becoming a famous writer.

As a college student, Javi embellishes his life story until there’s not even a kernel of truth left. The only real connection to his past is the occasional letter he trades with his childhood best friend, Gio, who doesn’t seem to care about Javi’s newfound awareness of white privilege or the school-to-prison pipeline. Soon after Javi graduates, a viral essay transforms him from a writer on the rise to a journalist at a legendary magazine where the editors applaud his “unique perspective.” But Gio more than anyone knows who Javi really is, and sees through his game. Once Gio’s released from prison and Javi offers to cut him in on the deal, will he play along with Javi’s charade, or will it all come crumbling down?

A sendup of virtue signaling and tear-jerking trauma plots written with the bite of Paul Beatty, Victim asks what real diversity looks like and how far one man is willing to go to make his story hit the right notes.
Visit Andrew Boryga's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Fighting Retreat: Churchill and India"

New from Hurst: Fighting Retreat: Churchill and India by Walter Reid.

About the book, from the publisher:

Winston Churchill was closely connected with India from 1896, when he landed in Bombay with his regiment, until 1947, when independence was finally achieved. No other British statesman had such a long association with the sub-continent—or interfered in its politics so consistently and harmfully.

Churchill strove to sabotage any moves towards independence, crippling the Government of India Act over five years of dogged opposition to its passage in the 1930s. As Prime Minister during the Second World War, Churchill frustrated the freedom struggle from behind the scenes, delaying independence by a decade. To this day he is 'the' imperialist villain for Indians, held personally responsible for the Bengal Famine.

This book reveals Churchill at his worst: cruel, obstructive and selfish. The same man was outstandingly liberal at the Colonial Office, risking his career with his generosity to the Boers and the Irish, and later speeding up independence in the Middle East. Why was he so strangely hostile towards India?
Follow Walter Reid on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Great Expectations"

New from Hogarth: Great Expectations: A Novel by Vinson Cunningham.

About the book, from the publisher:

I’d seen the Senator speak a few times before my life got caught up, however distantly, with his, but the first time I can remember paying real attention was when he delivered the speech announcing his run for the Presidency.

When David first hears the Senator from Illinois speak, he feels deep ambivalence. Intrigued by the Senator’s idealistic rhetoric, David also wonders how he’ll balance the fervent belief and inevitable compromises it will take to become the United States’ first Black president.

Great Expectations is about David’s eighteen months working for the Senator’s presidential campaign. Along the way David meets a myriad of people who raise a set of questions—questions of history, art, race, religion, and fatherhood—that force David to look at his own life anew and come to terms with his identity as a young Black man and father in America.

Meditating on politics and politicians, religion and preachers, fathers and family, Great Expectations is both an emotionally resonant coming-of-age story and a rich novel of ideas, marking the arrival of a major new writer.
Visit Vinson Cunningham's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Art of Uncertainty"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Art of Uncertainty: Probable Realism and the Victorian Novel by Daniel Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Victorian novel developed unique forms of reasoning under uncertainty-of thinking, judging, and acting in the face of partial knowledge and unclear outcome. George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, William Thackeray, Thomas Hardy, and later Joseph Conrad drew on science, mathematics, philosophy, and the law to articulate a phenomenology of uncertainty against emergent models of prediction and decision-making. In imaginative explorations of unsure reasoning, hesitant judgment, and makeshift action, these novelists cultivated distinctive responses to uncertainty as intellectual concern and cultural disposition, participating in the knowledge work of an era shaped by numerical approaches to the future. Reading for uncertainty yields a rich account of the dynamics of thinking and acting, a fresh understanding of realism as a genre of the probable, and a vision of literary-critical judgment as provisional and open-ended. Daniel Williams spotlights the value of literary art in a present marked by models and technologies of prediction.
Visit Daniel Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

"Six Truths and a Lie

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Six Truths and a Lie by Ream Shukairy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Six Muslim teens are falsely accused of a deadly attack in this timely and harrowing examination of America’s justice system, perfect for fans of Angie Thomas and Samira Ahmed.

As fireworks pop off at a rowdy Fourth of July bonfire party, an explosion off the California coast levels an oil rig—resulting in chaos and worse, murder.

At the center are six Muslim teens - six patriots, six strangers, and six suspects.

An old soul caught in the wrong place. An aspiring doctor. An influencer with a reputation to protect. A perfect daughter with secrets to hide. A soccer star headed for Stanford. An immigrant in love. Each with something to hide and everything to lose.

Faced with accusations of terrorism, The Six are caught in a political game that will pit them against each other in exchange for exoneration. They must choose: frame each other to guarantee their own independence or expose their secrets to earn back freedom for them all.
Visit Ream Shukairy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Selling the Dream"

New from Atria Books: Selling the Dream: The Billion-Dollar Industry Bankrupting Americans by Jane Marie.

About the book, from the publisher:

Peabody and Emmy Award–winning journalist Jane Marie expands on her popular podcast The Dream to expose the scourge of multilevel marketing schemes and how they have profited off the evisceration of the American working class.

We’ve all heard of Amway, Mary Kay, Tupperware, and LuLaRoe, but few know the nefarious way they and countless other multilevel marketing (MLM) companies prey on desperate Americans struggling to make ends meet.

When factories close, stalwart industries shutter, and blue-collar opportunities evaporate, MLMs are there, ready to pounce on the crumbling American Dream. MLMs thrive in rural areas and on military bases, targeting women with promises of being their own boss and millions of dollars in easy income—even at the risk of their entire life savings. But the vast majority—99.7%—of those who join an MLM make no money or lose money, and wind up stuck with inventory they can’t sell to recoup their losses.

Featuring in-depth reporting and intimate research, Selling the Dream reveals how these companies—often owned by political and corporate elites, such as the Devos and the Van Andels families—have made a windfall in profit off of the desperation of the American working class.
Visit Jane Marie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Everyone is Watching"

Coming soon from Park Row: Everyone Is Watching: A Locked-Room Thriller by Heather Gudenkauf.

About the book, from the publisher:

A mysterious high-stakes game proves life-threatening in this twisty thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest

The Best Friend. The Confidant. The Senator. The Boyfriend. The Executive.

Five contestants have been chosen to compete for ten million dollars on the game show One Lucky Winner. The catch? None of them knows what (or who) to expect, and it will be live streamed all over the world. Completely secluded in an estate in Northern California, with strict instructions not to leave the property and zero contact with the outside world, the competitors start to feel a little too isolated.

When long-kept secrets begin to rise to the surface, the contestants realize this is no longer just a reality show—someone is out for blood. And the game can’t end until the world knows who the contestants really are…
Visit Heather Gudenkauf's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Heather Gudenkauf and Maxine.

Coffee with a Canine: Heather Gudenkauf & Lolo.

My Book, The Movie: Not A Sound.

The Page 69 Test: Not A Sound.

Writers Read: Heather Gudenkauf (April 2019).

The Page 69 Test: Before She Was Found.

The Page 69 Test: This Is How I Lied.

The Page 69 Test: The Overnight Guest.

--Marshal Zeringue

"In True Face"

New from PublicAffairs: In True Face: A Woman's Life in the CIA, Unmasked by Jonna Mendez.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling coauthor of The Moscow Rules and Argo tells her riveting, courageous story of being a female spy at the height of the Cold War

Jonna Hiestand Mendez began her CIA career as a “contract wife” performing secretarial duties for the CIA as a convenience to her husband, a young officer stationed in Europe. She needed his permission to open a bank account or shut off the gas to their apartment. Yet Mendez had a talent for espionage, too, and she soon took on bigger and more significant roles at the Agency. She parlayed her interest in photography into an operational role overseas, an unlikely area for a woman in the CIA. Often underestimated, occasionally undermined, she lived under cover and served tours of duty all over the globe, rising first to become an international spy and ultimately to Chief of Disguise at CIA’s Office of Technical Service.

In True Face recounts not only the drama of Mendez’s high-stakes work—how this savvy operator parlayed her “everywoman” appeal into incredible subterfuge—but also the grit and good fortune it took for her to navigate a misogynistic world. This is the story of an incredible spy career and what it took to achieve it.
Visit Jonna Mendez's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Not Your Average Jo"

New from Kokila: Not Your Average Jo by Grace K. Shim.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of THE NOH FAMILY, a second standalone YA novel that follows a Korean American teen as she navigates the treacherous world of nepo babies and cultural appropriation that is the Los Angeles music scene. Perfect for fans of Mary H. K. Choi, Maurene Goo, and Emiko Jean.

Riley Jo is a teenager who knows what she wants. Born and raised in Bentonville, Arkansas, this Korean American girl has her sights set on being a musician. So when her parents are surprisingly cool about her attending the prestigious Los Angeles–based arts-focused boarding school her senior year of high school, she jumps at the chance. This is her moment to make her indie rock dreams a reality!

Things at Carlmont Academy start out strong: She joins a band, and they set out to make plans to perform at the annual spring concert—with a chance to land a record contract. Another student, Xander, decides his school project will be a documentary about the band leading up to their first show. But not everything goes how Riley Jo imagined. She is soon sidelined when her other bandmates feel she is "too Asian" to be their lead singer, and they choose her classmate Bodhi Collins for the role instead.

Bodhi is rock music royalty, with a dad who is a famous music exec. And he's got the "all-American rock star look." Her classmates suggest she try making K-pop, but her heart is in indie rock. Riley Jo decides to take matters into her own hands and writes an original song to showcase her talent. But Bodhi takes the credit . . . and given his connections, the band lets him.

Xander captures all of this in his film, which he leaks in order to show the truth behind the band. Riley Jo decides to sign up for the spring concert and perform on her own . . . but will she finally be able to take center stage?
Visit Grace K. Shim's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sky Watch"

New from the University Press of Kentucky: Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story by Emma Hudelson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Horse shows used to draw crowds by the thousands to state fairs and venues such as Madison Square Garden. And in the 1980s, no performance horse filled more arena seats than the American Saddlebred Sky Watch. He pushed the saddle seat industry to a peak that hasn't been seen since. An athlete through and through, the stallion dominated the sport with the same power and intensity as a Kentucky Derby winner. With unmatched talent, Sky Watch earned four World Grand Championships and twelve World titles overall, making his career one for the history books. Years after Sky Watch finished competing, videos of his legacy in the ring captured the heart of author and lifelong horsewoman Emma Hudelson. Her fascination with the unstoppable stallion sent her on a journey to discover how a horse becomes a legend, convinced that if she can capture the magic behind the greatest show horse of all time, maybe she can understand her own obsession with Saddlebreds.

Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story is not only the tale of a remarkable horse, but of the American Saddlebred breed and the way these horses carried one rider back to herself. Tracking the path of Sky Watch's success, Hudelson's book is a deeply personal homage to one of the sport's greatest show horses and the indelible impression he left on the breed and in the hearts of those who loved him.
Visit Emma Hudelson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 26, 2024

"Those Beyond the Wall"

New from Del Rey: Those Beyond the Wall: A Novel by Micaiah Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Ashtown, a rough-and-tumble desert community, the Emperor rules with poisoned claws and an iron fist. He can’t show any sign of weakness, as the neighboring Wiley City has spent lifetimes beating down the people of Ashtown and would love nothing more than its downfall. There’s only one person in the desert the Emperor can fully trust—and her name is Scales.

Scales is the best at what she does: keeping everyone and everything in line. As a skilled mechanic—and an even more skilled fighter, when she needs to be—Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew, who’s able to keep things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes. Even more incomprehensible: There doesn’t seem to be a murderer.

When more bodies start to turn up, both in Ashtown and in the wealthier, walled-off Wiley City, Scales is tasked with finding the cause—and putting an end to it by any means necessary. To protect the people she loves, she teams up with a frustratingly by-the-books partner from Ashtown and a brusque-but-brilliant scientist from the City, delving into both worlds to track down an invisible killer.

But the answers Scales finds are bigger than she ever could have imagined, leading her into the brutal heart beneath Wiley City’s pristine façade and dredging up secrets from her own past that she would rather keep hidden. If she wants to save the world from the earth-shattering truths she uncovers, she can no longer remain silent—even if speaking up costs her everything.
Visit Micaiah Johnson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Cyber Predators"

Coming soon from Cambridge University Press: The Cyber Predators: Dark Personality and Online Misconduct and Crime by Aaron Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ever wondered who lurks in the shadows of the internet's vast landscape, balancing opportunity and risk? The Cyber Predators takes you on a revealing journey into the enigmatic world of dark triad/tetrad personalities: psychopaths, Machiavellians, and narcissists, sadists, tackling the urgent issue of online crime as a global crisis. Drawing from cutting-edge research, this book synthesizes knowledge, exploring the motives and tactics that distinguish dark triad/tetrad individuals. Offering unique expertise, it serves as an essential reference for scholars, practitioners, and the public, distinguishing itself with its consolidated and up-to-date approach. Navigating through diverse digital realms―from social media addiction to cyberbullying, hacking, and workplace deviance―this book unravels the complex interplay between dark triad/tetrad personalities and cyber misconduct. Ideal for postgraduate students, it provides interdisciplinary insight, drawing from various scientific fields, making it a valuable resource for understanding cybercrime and its perpetrators.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Underground Library"

New from Ballantine Books: The Underground Library: A Novel by Jennifer Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the Blitz imperils the heart of a London neighborhood, three young women must use their fighting spirit to save the community’s beloved library in this novel based on true events from the author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

When the new deputy librarian, Juliet Lansdown, finds that Bethnal Green Library isn’t the bustling hub she is expecting, she becomes determined to breathe life back into it. But can she show the men in charge that a woman is up to the task of running the library, especially when a confrontation with her past threatens to derail her?

Katie Upwood is thrilled to be working at the library, although she is only there until she heads off to university in the fall. But after the death of her beau on the front line and amid tumultuous family strife, she finds herself harboring a life-changing secret with no one to turn to for help.

Sofie Baumann, a young Jewish refugee, came to London on a domestic service visa only to find herself working as a maid for a man who treats her abominably. She escapes to the library every chance she can, finding friendship in the literary community and aid in finding her sister, who is still trying to flee occupied Europe.

When a slew of bombs destroys the library, Juliet relocates the stacks to the local Underground station where the city’s residents shelter nightly, determined to lend out stories that will keep spirits up. But tragedy after tragedy threatens to unmoor the women and sever the ties of their community. Will Juliet, Kate, and Sofie be able to overcome their own troubles to save the library? Or will the beating heart of their neighborhood be lost forever?
Visit Jennifer Ryan's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Spies of Shilling Lane.

Writers Read: Jennifer Ryan (June 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Going to Hell to Get the Devil"

Coming soon from LSU Press: Going to Hell to Get the Devil: The 1972 Charlotte Three Case and the Freedom Struggle in a Sunbelt City by J. Christopher Schutz.

About the book, from the publisher:

The 1968 burning of the Lazy B Stables in Charlotte, North Carolina, attracted little notice beyond coverage in local media. By the mid-1970s, however, the fire had become the center of a contentious and dubious arson case against a trio of Black civil rights activists, who became known as the “Charlotte Three.” The charges against the men garnered interest from federal law enforcement agents, investigative journalists― including one who later earned a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the trials―numerous New Left and Black Power activists, and Amnesty International, which declared the defendants “political prisoners.” In Going to Hell to Get the Devil, J. Christopher Schutz offers the first comprehensive examination of this controversial case and its outcome.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Charlotte’s leaders sought to portray their home as a placid, business-friendly, and racially moderate community. When New Left and Black Power activists threatened that stability, city leaders employed a variety of means to silence them, including the use of law enforcement against African Americans they deemed too zealous. In the Charlotte Three case, prosecutors paid prisoners for testimony against the Black activists on trial, resulting in their convictions with lengthy prison sentences. The unwanted publicity surrounding the case of the Charlotte Three became a critical pivot point in the Queen City’s post–World War II trajectory.

Going to Hell to Get the Devil tells more than the story of an arson case; it also tells the story of the South’s future, as the fate of the Charlotte Three became emblematic of the decline of the African American freedom struggle and the causes it championed.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 25, 2024

"The Romanov Brides"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: The Romanov Brides: A Novel of the Last Tsarina and Her Sisters by Clare McHugh.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of A Most English Princess comes a rich novel about young Princess Alix of Hesse—the future Alexandra, last Empress of Imperial Russia—and her sister, Princess Ella. Their decision to marry into the Romanov royal family changed history.

They were granddaughters of Queen Victoria and two of the most beautiful princesses in Europe. Princesses Alix and Ella were destined to wed well and wisely. But while their grandmother wants to join them to the English and German royal families, the sisters fall in love with Russia—and the Romanovs.

Defying the Queen’s dire warnings, Ella weds the tsar’s brother, Grand Duke Serge. Cultivated, aloof, and proud, Serge places his young wife on a pedestal for all to admire. Behind palace gates, Ella struggles to secure private happiness.

Alix, whisked away to Russia for Ella’s wedding, meets and captivates Nicky—heir apparent to the Russian throne. While loving him deeply, Alix hears a call of conscience, urging her to walk away.

Their fateful decisions to marry will lead to tragic consequences for not only themselves and their families, but for millions in Russia and around the globe.

The Romanov Brides is a moving and fascinating portrait of two bold and spirited royal sisters, and brings to vivid life imperial Russia—a dazzling, decadent world on the brink of disappearing forever.
Visit Clare McHugh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Plentiful Country"

New from Little, Brown and Company: Plentiful Country: The Great Potato Famine and the Making of Irish New York by Tyler Anbinder.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the award-winning author of Five Points and City of Dreams, a breathtaking new history of the Irish immigrants who arrived in the United States during the Great Potato Famine, showing how their strivings in and beyond New York exemplify the astonishing tenacity and improbable triumph of Irish America.

In 1845, a fungus began to destroy Ireland’s potato crop, triggering a famine that would kill one million Irish men, women, and children—and drive over one million more to flee for America. Ten years later, the United States had been transformed by this stupendous migration, nowhere more than New York: by 1855, roughly a third of all adults living in Manhattan were immigrants who had escaped the hunger in Ireland. These so-called “Famine Irish” were the forebears of four U.S. presidents (including Joe Biden) yet when they arrived in America they were consigned to the lowest-paying jobs and subjected to discrimination and ridicule by their new countrymen. Even today, the popular perception of these immigrants is one of destitution and despair. But when we let the Famine Irish narrate their own stories, they paint a far different picture.

In this magisterial work of storytelling and scholarship, acclaimed historian Tyler Anbinder presents for the first time the Famine generation’s individual and collective tales of struggle, perseverance, and triumph. Drawing on newly available records and a ten-year research initiative, Anbinder reclaims the narratives of the refugees who settled in New York City and helped reshape the entire nation. Plentiful Country is a tour de force—a book that rescues the Famine immigrants from the margins of history and restores them to their rightful place at the center of the American story.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Scream of Sins"

New from Severn House: The Scream of Sins by Chris Nickson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thief-taker Simon Westow uncovers an evil lurking in the underbelly of Leeds in this page-turning historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, October 1824.
Thief-taker Simon Westow's job seems straightforward. Captain Holcomb's maid, Sophie, has stolen important papers that could ruin the family's reputation, and he's desperate for their return. But the case very quickly takes a murderous turn, and it becomes clear the papers are hiding a host of sins...

During the search, Simon's assistant, Jane, hears a horrific tale: men are snatching young girls from small towns for use by the rich. Those who are unwanted are tossed on to the streets of Leeds to survive among the homeless. With the help of an unlikely, deadly new companion, Jane will do everything to discover who's responsible and make them pay.

Can Simon and Jane recover Holcomb's letters and get justice for the stolen girls? It becomes a battle that might result in them losing everything . . . including their lives.
Visit Chris Nickson's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Constant Lovers.

The Page 69 Test: The Constant Lovers.

The Page 69 Test: The Iron Water.

The Page 69 Test: The Hanging Psalm.

Q&A with Chris Nickson.

The Page 69 Test: The Molten City.

My Book, The Movie: Molten City.

Writers Read: Chris Nickson (August 2021).

The Page 69 Test: Brass Lives.

The Page 69 Test: The Blood Covenant.

The Page 69 Test: The Dead Will Rise.

Writers Read: Chris Nickson (March 2023).

The Page 69 Test: Rusted Souls.

Writers Read: Chris Nickson.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Unwritten Enlightenment"

New from Northwestern University Press: The Unwritten Enlightenment: Literature between Ideology and the Unconscious by Nathan Gorelick.

About the book, from the publisher:

Unveiling the fantasies that drove the Enlightenment and created modern literature

Nathan Gorelick’s The Unwritten Enlightenment: Literature between Ideology and the Unconscious traces the relations between literary criticism and psychoanalysis to their shared origins in the Enlightenment era’s novels and novelistic discourse, where the period’s efforts to invent new notions of subjectivity and individualism are most apparent. Gorelick shows how modern concepts of literature and the unconscious were generated in response to these efforts and by an ethical concern for what the language of the Enlightenment excludes, represses, or struggles to erase. Troubling the idea of the Enlightenment on its own terms, subverting its supposed authority from within, Gorelick thus reveals the workings of unconscious fantasy at the foundations of our contemporary political realities. The Unwritten Enlightenment makes clear that to criticize the Enlightenment’s deficiencies, ambiguities, and legacies of violence without regard for the unconscious fantasies that drive them risks reproducing the very patterns of thought, action, and imagination that the Enlightenment novel already unsettles.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 24, 2024

"Baby X"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Baby X: A Thriller by Kira Peikoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

When any biological matter can be used to create life, stolen celebrity DNA sells to the highest bidder–or the craziest stalker–in this propulsive thriller.

With a vivid imagining of the future,
Gattaca meets Black Mirror in Kira Peikoff’s Baby X.

In the near-future United States, where advanced technology can create egg or sperm from any person’s cells, celebrities face the alarming potential of meeting biological children they never conceived. Famous singer Trace Thorne is tired of being targeted by the Vault, a black market site devoted to stealing DNA. Sick of paying ransom money for his own cell matter, he hires bio-security guard Ember Ryan to ensure his biological safety.

Ember will do anything she can to protect her clients. She knows all the Vault’s tricks–discarded tissues, used straws, lipstick tubes–and has prevented countless DNA thefts. Working for Thorne, her focus becomes split when she begins to fall for him, but she knows she hasn’t let anything slip–love or not, his DNA is safe. But then she and Thorne are confronted by a pregnant woman, Quinn, who claims that Thorne is the father of her baby, and all bets are off.

Brilliantly plotted and terrifyingly prescient, Baby X is an unpredictable and relentless speculative thriller perfect for fans of Blake Crouch and John Marrs.
Learn more about the book and author at Kira Peikoff's website.

The Page 69 Test: Living Proof.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Other Border Wars"

New from the University of Pittsburgh Press: The Other Border Wars: Conflict and Stasis in Latin American Culture by Shannon Dowd.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Other Border Wars: Conflict and Stasis in Latin American Culture questions bordering as an organizing principle of culture, conflict, and politics. Shannon Dowd argues that Central and South American border conflicts such as the Chaco War, between Bolivia and Paraguay (1932-1935); the Soccer War, between El Salvador and Honduras (1969); and the Falklands/Malvinas War, between Argentina and the United Kingdom (1982); can be considered as stasis, meaning civil strife, rather than polemos, meaning international war. Through analyses of literature, film, and theater, Dowd shows that border conflict is entwined with domestic strife, reinforced by stagnant geographical lines, and magnified under globalization. Deploying a capacious theory of stasis to question modern sovereignty and bordering, Dowd examines border zones from the outbreak of hostilities to the present, highlighting the lasting legacies of enclosure and violence. The Other Border Wars asks readers to consider how cultural expression challenges the purported fixity of Latin American borders, and even the very idea of bordering.
Visit Shannon Dowd's website.

--Marshal Zeringe

"Fruit of the Dead"

New from Scribner: Fruit of the Dead: A Novel by Rachel Lyon.

About the book, from the publisher:

An electric contemporary reimagining of the myth of Persephone and Demeter set over the course of one summer on a lush private island, about addiction and sex, family and independence, and who holds the power in a modern underworld.

Camp counselor Cory Ansel, eighteen and aimless, afraid to face her high-strung single mother in New York, is no longer sure where home is when the father of one of her campers offers an alternative. The CEO of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, Rolo Picazo is middle-aged, divorced, magnetic. He is also intoxicated by Cory. When Rolo proffers a childcare job (and an NDA), Cory quiets an internal warning and allows herself to be ferried to his private island. Plied with luxury and opiates manufactured by his company, she continues to tell herself she’s in charge. Her mother, Emer, head of a teetering agricultural NGO, senses otherwise. With her daughter seemingly vanished, Emer crosses land and sea to heed a cry for help she alone is convinced she hears.

Alternating between the two women’s perspectives, Rachel Lyon’s Fruit of the Dead incorporates its mythic inspiration with a light touch and devastating precision. The result is a tale that explores love, control, obliteration, and America’s own late capitalist mythos. Lyon’s reinvention of Persephone and Demeter’s story makes for a haunting and ecstatic novel that vibrates with lush abandon. Readers will not soon forget it.
Visit Rachel Lyon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Self-Portrait with Boy.

My Book, The Movie: Self-Portrait with Boy.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Riddles of the Sphinx"

New from HarperOne: The Riddles of the Sphinx: Inheriting the Feminist History of the Crossword Puzzle by Anna Shechtman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Combining the soul-baring confessional of Brain on Fire and the addictive storytelling of The Queen’s Gambit, a renowned puzzle creator’s compulsively readable memoir and history of the crossword puzzle as an unexpected site of women’s work and feminist protest.

The indisputable “queen of crosswords,” Anna Shechtman published her first New York Times puzzle at age nineteen, and later, spearheaded the The New Yorker’s popular crossword section. Working with a medium often criticized as exclusionary, elitist, and out-of-touch, Anna is one of very few women in the field of puzzle making, where she strives to make the everyday diversion more diverse.

In this fascinating work—part memoir, part cultural analysis—she excavates the hidden history of the crossword and the overlooked women who have been central to its creation and evolution, from the “Crossword Craze” of the 1920s to the role of digital technology today. As she tells the story of her own experience in the CrossWorld, she analyzes the roles assigned to women in American culture, the boxes they’ve been allowed to fill, and the ways that they’ve used puzzles to negotiate the constraints and play of desire under patriarchy.

The result is an unforgettable and engrossing work of art, a loving and revealing homage to one of our most treasured, entertaining, and ultimately political pastimes.
Visit Anna Shechtman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 23, 2024

"A Deadly Endeavor"

New from Crooked Lane Books: A Deadly Endeavor: A Novel by Jenny Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:

A serial killer is on the loose in Jazz Age Philadelphia in Jenny Adams’ debut historical mystery, perfect for fans of Deanna Raybourn and Rhys Bowen.

Philadelphia, 1921.
When Edie Shippen returns home after spending years in California recovering from Influenza, she’s shocked to discover that her childhood sweetheart is engaged to her twin sister. Heartbroken and adrift, Edie vows to begin living her life as a modern woman—and to hell with anyone who gets in her way. But as young women start to disappear from the city, her newfound independence begins to feel dangerous.

Gilbert Lawless returned home from the Great War a shell of his former self. He hides away in the office of Philadelphia’s Coroner, content to keep to himself until a gruesome series of corpses come into the morgue. And when his sister, Lizzie, goes missing, he risks his career to beg help from the one person Lizzie seemed to trust: her employer, Edie Shippen.

Fearing the worst, Edie and Gilbert desperately search for clues. It soon becomes clear that Lizzie’s disappearance is connected to the deaths rocking the City of Brotherly Love...and it’s only a matter of time until the killer strikes again.

With a lush Roaring Twenties setting and a wickedly smart sleuth to cheer for, A Deadly Endeavor is the perfect puzzling romp for fans of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
Visit Jenny Adams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"On Helping One's Neighbor"

New from Cambridge University Press: On Helping One's Neighbor: Severe Poverty and the Religious Ethics of Obligation by Bharat Ranganathan.

About the book, from the publisher:
Exploring what he calls 'the moral horror that is severe poverty,' Bharat Ranganathan develops a demanding account of the obligations that affluent people have to assist severely impoverished people. He argues that this is an immediate ethical as much as a social or structural imperative. Noting that developmental economists and moral and political philosophers have focused on wealth inequalities in increasingly sophisticated ways, Ranganathan observes that – within religious ethics – normative issues around severe poverty have nevertheless received insufficient attention. Bringing together general moral, religious, and philosophical principles with particular economic, social, and political realities, and engaging constructively with the writings of John Rawls and Peter Singer, this passionately argued book boldly challenges deleterious trends within ethics by unpacking, in a much more systematic way than hitherto, the pressing dilemmas around acute impoverishment. It will find an eager readership among scholars of religion, ethics, developmental studies, and theology.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Extinction of Irena Rey"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Extinction of Irena Rey by Jennifer Croft.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the International Booker Prize-winning translator and Women's Prize finalist, an utterly beguiling novel about eight translators and their search for a world-renowned author who goes missing in a primeval Polish forest.

Eight translators arrive at a house in a primeval Polish forest on the border of Belarus. It belongs to the world-renowned author Irena Rey, and they are there to translate her magnum opus, Gray Eminence. But within days of their arrival, Irena disappears without a trace.

The translators, who hail from eight different countries but share the same reverence for their beloved author, begin to investigate where she may have gone while proceeding with work on her masterpiece. They explore this ancient wooded refuge with its intoxicating slime molds and lichens and study her exotic belongings and layered texts for clues. But doing so reveals secrets-and deceptions-of Irena Rey's that they are utterly unprepared for. Forced to face their differences as they grow increasingly paranoid in this fever dream of isolation and obsession, soon the translators are tangled up in a web of rivalries and desire, threatening not only their work but the fate of their beloved author herself.

This hilarious, thought-provoking debut novel is a brilliant examination of art, celebrity, the natural world, and the power of language. It is an unforgettable, unputdownable adventure with a small but global cast of characters shaken by the shocks of love, destruction, and creation in one of Europe's last great wildernesses.
Visit Jennifer Croft's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Collective Body"

Coming soon from the University of Chicago Press: Collective Body: Aleksandr Deineka at the Limit of Socialist Realism by Christina Kiaer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A study of the Socialist Realist aesthetic focusing on the artist Aleksandr Deineka.

Dislodging the avant-garde from its central position in the narrative of Soviet art, Collective Body presents painter Aleksandr Deineka’s haptic and corporeal version of Socialist Realist figuration as an alternate experimental aesthetic that, at its best, activates and organizes affective forces for collective ends. Christina Kiaer traces Deineka’s path from his avant-garde origins as the inventor of the proletarian body in illustrations for mass magazines after the revolution through his success as a state-sponsored painter of monumental, lyrical canvases during the Terror and beyond. In so doing, she demonstrates that Socialist Realism is best understood not as a totalitarian style but as a fiercely collective art system that organized art outside the market and formed part of the legacy of the revolutionary modernisms of the 1920s. Collective Body accounts for the way the art of the October Revolution continues to capture viewers’ imaginations by evoking the elation of collectivity, making viewers not just comprehend but truly feel socialism, and retaining the potential to inform our own art-into-life experiments within contemporary political art. Deineka figures in this study not as a singular master, in the spirit of a traditional monograph, but as a limit case of the system he inhabited and helped to create.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 22, 2024

"Help Wanted"

New from W. W. Norton & Company: Help Wanted: A Novel by Adelle Waldman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the best-selling author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. comes a funny, eye-opening tale of work in contemporary America.

Every day at 3:55 a.m., members of Team Movement clock in for their shift at big-box store Town Square in a small upstate New York town. Under the eyes of a self-absorbed and barely competent boss, they empty the day’s truck of merchandise, stock the shelves, and scatter before the store opens and customers arrive. Their lives follow a familiar if grueling routine, but their real problem is that Town Square doesn’t schedule them for enough hours―most of them are barely getting by, even while working second or third jobs. When store manager Big Will announces he is leaving, the members of Movement spot an opportunity. If they play their cards right, one of them just might land a management job, with all the stability and possibility for advancement that that implies. The members of Team Movement―including a comedy-obsessed oddball who acts half his age, a young woman clinging on to her “cool kid” status from high school, and a college football hopeful trying to find a new path―band together to set a just-so-crazy-it-might-work plot in motion.

Adelle Waldman’s debut novel was a breakout sensation, lauded by the Los Angeles Times as an “exacting character study” with “excellent and witty prose” and described as “incisive and very funny” by the Economist and “brilliant” by both NPR’s Fresh Air and the Washington Post. In her long-awaited follow-up, Waldman brings her unparalleled wit and astute social observation to the world of modern, low-wage work. A humane and darkly comic workplace caper that shines a light on the odds low-wage workers are up against in today’s economy, Help Wanted is a funny, moving tale of ordinary people trying to make a living.
Learn more about the book and author at Adelle Waldman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P..

--Marshal Zeringue

"Border Economies"

New from the University of Arizona Press: Border Economies: Cities Bridging the U.S.-Mexico Divide by James Gerber.

About the book, from the publisher:

The border between the United States and Mexico is one of the most unique and complex regions of the world. The asymmetry of the border region, together with the profound cultural differences of the two countries, create national controversies around migration, security, and illegal flows of drugs and weapons. The national narratives miss the fact that the 15 million or more people living in the border regions of Mexico and the United States are highly interactive and responsive to conditions on the other side.

Enormous legal cross-border flows of people, goods, and finance are embedded in the region’s history and prompted by the need to respond to new opportunities and challenges that originate on the other side. In Border Economies James Gerber examines how the interactivity and sensitivity of communities to conditions across the border differentiates them from communities in the interiors of Mexico and the United States. Gerber explains what makes the region not only unique but uniquely interesting.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Ellie Haycock Is Totally Normal"

New from Wednesday Books: Ellie Haycock Is Totally Normal by Gretchen Schreiber.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Breakfast Club meets Five Feet Apart in this big-hearted novel from debut author Gretchen Schreiber.

Ellie Haycock has always separated her life into sections: Ellie at home and Ellie at the hospital. At home, Ellie is a proud member of her high school’s speech and debate team alongside her best friend and her boyfriend. At the hospital, Ellie has a team of doctors and a mom who won’t stop posting about the details of her illness online. It’s not hard for Ellie to choose which of the two she prefers.

But this latest hospital stay is different. Ellie becomes close with a group of friends, including Ryan, a first-timer who’s still optimistic about the doctors that Ellie stopped trusting years ago. Despite their differences, she can’t seem to keep him out of her head. Ellie’s life has never been ordinary—but maybe this time it will be extraordinary.
Visit Gretchen Schreiber's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Novels, Needleworks, and Empire"

New from Yale University Press: Novels, Needleworks, and Empire: Material Entanglements in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World by Chloe Wigston Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first sustained study of the vibrant links between domestic craft and British colonialism

In the eighteenth century, women’s contributions to empire took fewer official forms than those collected in state archives. Their traces were recorded in material ways, through the ink they applied to paper or the artifacts they created with muslin, silk threads, feathers, and shells. Handiwork, such as sewing, knitting, embroidery, and other crafts, formed a familiar presence in the lives and learning of girls and women across social classes, and it was deeply connected to colonialism.

Chloe Wigston Smith follows the material and visual images of the Atlantic world that found their way into the hands of women and girls in Britain and early America—in the objects they made, the books they held, the stories they read—and in doing so adjusted and altered the form and content of print and material culture. A range of artifacts made by women, including makers of color, brought the global into conversation with domestic crafts and consequently placed images of empire and colonialism within arm’s reach. Together, fiction and handicrafts offer new evidence of women’s material contributions to the home’s place within the global eighteenth century, revealing the rich and complex connections between the global and the domestic.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

"Women of Good Fortune"

New from Graydon House: Women of Good Fortune: A Novel by Sophie Wan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against a high-society Shanghai wedding, a heartfelt, funny, dazzling novel about a reluctant bride and her two best friends, each with their own motives and fed up with the way society treats women, who forge a plan to steal all the gift money on the big day

Lulu has always been taught that money is the ticket to a good life. So, when Shanghai’s most eligible bachelor surprises her with a proposal, the only acceptable answer is yes, even if the voice inside her head is saying no. His family’s fortune would solve all her parents’ financial woes, but Lulu isn’t in love or ready for marriage.

The only people she can confide in are her two best friends: career-minded Rina, who is tired of being passed over for promotion while her male colleagues are rewarded; and Jane, a sharp-tongued, luxury-chasing housewife desperate to divorce her husband and trade up. Each of them desires something different: freedom, time, beauty. None of them can get it without money.

Lulu’s wedding is their golden opportunity. The social event of the season, it means more than enough cash gifts to transform the women’s lives. To steal the money on the big day, all they’ll need is a trustworthy crew and a brilliant plan. But as the plot grows increasingly complicated and relationships are caught in the cross fire, the women are forced to face that having it all might come at a steep price…
Visit Sophie Wan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Silicon Valley Imperialism"

New from Duke University Press: Silicon Valley Imperialism: Techno Fantasies and Frictions in Postsocialist Times by Erin McElroy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Silicon Valley Imperialism, Erin McElroy maps the processes of gentrification, racial dispossession, and economic predation that drove the development of Silicon Valley in the San Francisco Bay Area and how that logic has become manifest in postsocialist Romania. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in Romania and the United States, McElroy exposes the mechanisms through which the appeal of Silicon Valley technocapitalism devours space and societies, displaces residents, and generates extreme income inequality in order to expand its reach. In Romania, dreams of privatization updated fascist and anti-Roma pasts and socialist-era underground computing practices. At the same time, McElroy accounts for the ways Romanians are resisting Silicon Valley capitalist logics, where anticapitalist and anti-imperialist activists and protesters build on socialist-era worldviews not to restore state socialism but rather to establish more just social formations. Attending to the violence of Silicon Valley imperialism, McElroy reveals technocapitalism as an ultimately unsustainable model of rapacious economic and geographic growth.
Visit Erin McElroy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hypnotized by Love"

New from Montlake: Hypnotized by Love by Sariah Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The power of suggestion does wonders for the heart in an absolutely captivating romantic comedy by Sariah Wilson, the bestselling author of The Chemistry of Love.

Hypnotist Savannah Sinclair is known for helping clients overcome their deep-rooted issues, from anxiety to addiction. But her nontraditional approach also attracts plenty of skeptics―including her high school nemesis and rival, Mason Beckett, who just so happens to be the boy who broke her heart.

Mason’s life hasn’t gone according to plan. His latest novel was a flop, and the only gig he can land is writing a scathing exposé of his hometown hypnotist, Savannah. But in order to write an authentic article, he has to be a willing participant. Hypnosis is the last thing he expected: he’s shedding his negative nature and opening himself up to new experiences…and when a fire alarm interrupts their session, Mason walks out into the real world entranced and sporting a sunny disposition and a tendency to say yes.

Hypnotized Mason is fearless, revealing things he’s never told a soul, acting completely out of character, and leading Savannah on a frantic chase to keep him safe. He likes his new self. The problem is, so does Savannah. She can’t fall in love with a man who’s in a trance, but can she keep him still long enough to get him to snap out of it?
Visit Sariah Wilson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Death, Dominance, and State-Building"

New from Oxford University Press: Death, Dominance, and State-Building: The US in Iraq and the Future of American Military Intervention by Roger D. Petersen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The definitive work on the course, conduct, and aftermath of the Iraq war.

In Death, Dominance, and State-Building, the eminent scholar of conflict Roger D. Petersen provides the first comprehensive analytic history of post-invasion Iraq. Although the war is almost universally derided as one of the biggest foreign policy blunders of the post-Cold War era, Petersen argues that the course and conduct of the conflict is poorly understood. He begins by outlining an accessible framework for analyzing complex, fluid, and violent internal conflicts. He then applies that framework to a variety of diverse case studies to break down the strategic interplay among the US military forces and Shia and Sunni insurgent organizations as it played out in Baghdad, Anbar, and Hawija. Highlighting the struggle for dominance between Shia and Sunni in Baghdad, Petersen offers a reconsideration of the Surge. He also addresses failures of state-building in Iraqi Kurdistan. Critically, he shows how the legacy of the US occupation and presence from 2003-2011 shaped Iraq's political and security contours from 2011-2023. Comprehensive, analytically sophisticated, and subtle, this book draws lessons relevant to future American military interventions from what most regard as the US's most disastrous foreign policy adventure since Vietnam. The US cannot simply wish away insurgencies, which are always going to occur. The question is what the US and other great powers might do about them in the future.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

"The Dredge"

New from Grove Atlantic: The Dredge by Brendan Flaherty.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Brendan Flaherty’s debut novel, two estranged brothers must confront the violence of the past when they find out a pond where they played as children will be dredged.

After some traumatic teenaged years in rural Connecticut, Cale and Ambrose Casey had nothing left to say to each other. Cale ran off to Hawaii to sell luxury real estate. Ambrose stayed behind and built up his construction company. Neither thought they’d be in touch again and were glad for it—until they learned of a real estate developer’s plan to drain and expand Gibbs Pond.

Nearly 30 years before, the Casey brothers buried a secret in that pond, which fell somewhere between self-defense and family preservation.

Lily Rowe, the contractor in charge of the dredging, can also trace her roots—and her trauma—to the banks of Gibbs Pond. After a childhood that saw her and her brother yanked across the country by her abusive father, it was here where she finally stayed put, even if they didn’t. But as ambitious as Lily is, and as much as she wants answers of her own, her family also has secrets to protect.

Now, the haunted lives of Cale, Ambrose, and Lily collide once more as they reunite to unearth the devastation of the past.
Visit Brendan Flaherty's website.

--Marshal Zeringue