Staff Pick

Amy Goldstein, a longtime Washington Post reporter, takes a deep dive into the community of Janesville, Wisconsin, describing in gripping and revealing detail what happens when economic disaster strikes a town. In the case of Janesville, it was the closing in late 2008 of what had been the oldest operating General Motors plant in the country. While Janesville: An American Story (Simon & Schuster, $27) is set in a single community, it also explores the larger realities of how Americans are trying to cope with job losses and financial hardships. It examines the shortfalls of re-training programs, the limitations of social services, and the political divisions and partisan rancor that can pull even the most established communities apart. These damaging effects aren’t always simple to trace or explain. But the power and disturbing impact of Goldstein’s book comes in its refusal to be satisfied with simplifications

Janesville: An American Story Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501102233
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 18th, 2017

Staff Pick

A finalist for the National Book Award, Killers of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and The Birth of The FBI (Doubleday, $28.95), by David Grann, chronicles the mysterious deaths by gunshot and poison of members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma during the 1920s. As Grann tries to put the pieces of this mystery together, he uncovers a forgotten history. Though we are first led to believe that just one person, acting out of greed, is responsible for the entire rash of killings, Grann soon wonders if more people were behind these heinous acts. Because the details of these crimes were so peculiar, the case prompted a need for a federal agency, and the FBI was born. Did that help the Osage at all? Grann’s presentation of the evidence, the investigation, and the court proceedings is riveting. But it’s his account of the ongoing repercussions of the killings, his interviews with members of the impoverished Osage, and his depiction of Indigenous life in this country today, that reveal the truly shocking crime.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385534246
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday - April 18th, 2017

Staff Pick

It’s hard to imagine any better qualified trio of acclaimed political scholars and journalists to explain the political mess we’re in and where we go from here: E.J. Dionne is a columnist for The Washington Post, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and a professor at Georgetown University. Norm Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor and columnist for National Journal and The Atlantic. And Thomas Mann is a resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California in Berkeley and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Together in One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet-Deported (St. Martin’s, $25.99), they trace the various elements that gave rise to the election of Donald Trump, then point to some possible ways ahead, striking a guardedly optimistic note. They contend that the protests and national soul-searching triggered by Trump’s presidency could lead eventually to an era of democratic renewal. But, they caution, this will take much work and depend on those opposed to Trump coming up with some unifying alternatives.

One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250164056
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 19th, 2017