African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Freedom by David Hackett FischerWhat it's about: how enslaved Africans and their cultural practices shaped colonial America.
Author alert: Brandeis University historian David Hackett Fischer is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing.
Reviewers say: "a comprehensive demographic history with a powerful and important corrective thesis" (Booklist).
The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats -- and Our Response -- Will Change the World by Ian BremmerThe premise: "We need crises scary enough to make us forge a new international system that promotes effective cooperation on a few crucial questions."
The crises: COVID-19 and other pandemics, climate change, and the rise of digital technology.
Why you might like it: Political scientist Ian Bremmer's pragmatic yet hopeful latest offers clear-eyed solutions to tackle these three threats.
Rebels at Sea: Privateering in the American Revolution by Eric Jay Dolin
What it is: a spirited maritime history chronicling American privateers' efforts during the Revolutionary War.
Read it for: profiles of figures whose exploits have been forgotten or ignored by history, including Black sailmaker and abolitionist James Forten, and master-at-arms John Greenwood, who later became George Washington's personal dentist.
About the author: Historian Eric Jay Dolin is the bestselling author of Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America's Most Notorious Pirates.
Resistance: The Underground War Against Hitler, 1939-1945 by Halik KochanskiWhat it's about: the diverse array of resistance efforts against the Nazi regime in both Eastern and Western Europe.
Why it matters: British historian Halik Kochanski's sweeping and demythologizing account examines the complex (and often conflicting) motives exhibited by resistance movements.
Is it for you? At nearly 1,000 pages, this exhaustively researched history is best suited to readers already interested in the subject.
Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James KirchickWhat it's about: how LGBTQIA government employees in 20th-century Washington, D.C. were forced to remain closeted or risk their livelihood.
Read it for: an inspiring and fast-paced chronicle of perseverance in the face of oppression.
Featuring: recently declassified documents; interviews with more than 100 people; a cast of characters grouped by presidential administration; a historical map featuring important LGBTQIA landmarks in D.C.
Uncertain Ground: Citizenship in an Age of Endless, Invisible War by Phil KlayWhat it is: an incisive account of the war on terrorism's toll on soldiers and civilians alike, written by National Book Award-winning author and Iraq War veteran Phil Klay (Redeployment).
What's inside: essays written over the past decade exploring themes of trauma, grief, futility, and faith.
Try this next: Un-American: A Soldier's Reckoning of Our Longest War by Erik Edstrom.
We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power by Caleb GayleWhat it is: a compelling history exploring the enduring repercussions of the Creek Nation both enslaving Black Americans and accepting them as full tribal members.
Why it matters: Journalist Caleb Gayle's thought-provoking chronicle illuminates the complex (and often overlooked) relationship between Black and Indigenous Americans.
Further reading: An Afro-Indigenous History of the United States by Kyle T. Mays.