Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James BrownWhat it's about: the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a Japanese American infantry regiment in World War II that became the most decorated unit for its size in United States military history.
Why you should read it: Drawing on interviews and oral histories from the Seattle-based Densho organization, this richly detailed account illuminates the sacrifices the 442nd soldiers made for their country even while their own families were being interned back home.
Blood and Treasure: Daniel Boone and the Fight for America's First Frontier by Bob Drury and Tom ClavinWhat it is: a fast-paced chronicle of Daniel Boone's exploits in the 1770s and his establishment of a settlement in present-day Kentucky.
Is it for you? This evocative popular history by bestselling duo Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (Valley Forge) will appeal to the authors' many fans and to general readers who love vivid storytelling.
Don't miss: a nail-biting recreation of 1778's Siege of Boonesborough.
On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-ReedWhat it is: a concise and accessible essay collection exploring the origins and politics of Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating Black emancipation that originated in Texas.
Read it for: an incisive blend of history and memoir that illuminates Juneteenth's legacy and the ongoing calls to recognize it as a formal observance or federal holiday.
About the author: Historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hemingses of Monticello.
Nuclear Folly: A History of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Serhii PlokhyWhat it's about: how hubris, bad intelligence, miscommunication, and poor military strategy spurred the fateful 1962 confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union that almost resulted in nuclear war.
Featuring: firsthand accounts and recently declassified documents from both sides of the conflict that offer a thrilling recreation of the events.
Further reading: Gambling with Armageddon: Nuclear Roulette from Hiroshima to the Cuban Missile Crisis by Martin J. Sherwin.
The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story by Kate SummerscaleLondon, 1938: Embattled housewife Alma Fielding contacts the press after she begins experiencing supernatural phenomena in her home.
What happened next: Hoping to cement his standing in the spiritualist community, Hungarian parapsychologist Nandor Fodor spent four months investigating the disturbing occurrences, developing a complicated relationship with Alma.
Victim...or fraud? This atmospheric stranger-than-fiction ghost story allows readers to draw their own conclusions about Alma's plight.
Focus on: Trials and Court Cases
Lincoln's Last Trial: The Murder Case That Propelled Him to the Presidency by Dan Abrams and David FisherWhat it's about: In 1859, presidential hopeful Abraham Lincoln made a risky political decision, defending a family friend in a murder trial.
What's inside: a dramatic retelling of events based on recently discovered court transcripts; illuminating insights on Lincoln's legal prowess and strategy.
Reviewers say: "an engrossing legal thriller" (Publishers Weekly).
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey CepWhat it's about: how Harper Lee's obsession with a 1970s murder case inspired her to write a true crime book that she later abandoned.
Why you might like it: Journalist Casey Cep's well-researched bestseller paints a compelling portrait of the elusive Lee, whose insecurities hindered her creative endeavors.
Book buzz: Furious Hours was a 2019 New York Times Notable Book.
Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People by Benjamin CrumpWhat it is: a thought-provoking exploration of the ways in which the American judicial system fails people of color, written by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
Read it for: Crump's persuasive calls to action, backed by his experiences representing the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in court.
Don't miss: the list of "personal action steps" readers can take to help fight systemic racism.
Nobody's Child: A Tragedy, a Trial, and a History of the Insanity Defense by Susan VinocourWhat it is: former clinical and forensic psychologist Susan Vinocour's heartwrenching and well-researched history of the insanity defense that focuses on a case in which she served as an expert witness.
The defendant: "Dorothy Dunn," an impoverished and mentally ill Black woman, was tried for second-degree murder after her three-year-old grandson died in her care. Was she competent to stand trial?
Further reading: Insane: America's Criminal Treatment of Mental Illness by Alisa Roth.
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