Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World by Mary BeardPopular historian Mary Beard's sweeping and thought-provoking latest chronicles nearly three centuries of ancient Roman emperors' social and political lives, from Julius Caesar to Alexander Severus. Try this next: Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine by Barry Strauss.
Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided by Scott EymanBestselling biographer and film historian Scott Eyman (Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise) offers fresh insights on actor Charlie Chaplin's post-World War II exile from the United States, during which the FBI's investigations into his sexual and political life tarnished his legendary film career. Read-alike: Buster Keaton: A Filmmaker's Life by James Curtis.
The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary by Sarah OgilvieIn her richly detailed latest, linguist and lexicographer Sarah Ogilvie discusses the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary, revealing how its first edition took nearly 70 years to be completed by more than 3,000 volunteers from all over the world. For fans of: The Dictionary Wars: The American Fight Over the English Language by Peter Martin.
Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever by Matt SingerFilm critic Matt Singer explores the cultural legacy of Chicago film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert's popular syndicated TV series At the Movies in this nostalgic and richly detailed book featuring interviews with show producers, colleagues, and loved ones. Read-alike: Starstruck: My Unlikely Road to Hollywood by Leonard Maltin.
We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America by Roxanna AsgarianInvestigative reporter Roxanna Asgarian offers a disturbing exposé on the failures of the American foster care and adoption systems by focusing on the 2018 Hart family murders and prioritizing the perspectives of the victims' birth families. Further reading: American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption by Gabrielle Glaser.
Red Memory: The Afterlives of China's Cultural Revolution by Tania BraniganTania Branigan, former Guardian China correspondent, explores the collective trauma of China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), in which two million people were killed and millions more were imprisoned or ostracized, in her well-researched debut featuring interviews with both victims and perpetrators. Further reading: The World Turned Upside Down: A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution by Yang Jisheng.
Driving the Green Book: A Road Trip Through the Living History of Black Resistance by Alvin HallMedia personality Alvin Hall recounts the two road trips he took inspired by the Green Book, a mid-20th century annual travel guide, in this edifying travelogue featuring interviews with Black Americans who used the guide to travel safely. Further reading: Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor.
The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History's Most Astonishing Murder... by Patti McCrackenJournalist Patti McCracken's compelling true crime reveals the little-known story of Hungarian midwife and herbalist Zsuzsanna Fazekas (nicknamed "Auntie Suzy"), who, from 1914-1929, led a murder ring in her village by helping women poison the abusive men in their lives. Try this next: American Mother: The True Story of a Troubled Family, Motherhood, and the Cyanide Murders That Shook the World by Gregg Olsen.
Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America's Most Dangerous Female Spy... by Jim PopkinIn this well-researched espionage tale utilizing never-before-seen documents, journalist Jim Popkin chronicles the exploits of intelligence analyst Ana Montes, "the most important spy you've never heard of," who spent 17 years passing American secrets to Cuba. Read-alike: Agent Sonya: The Spy Next Door by Ben Macintyre.
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