Staff Pick

Eliza Griswold’s riveting look at the effects of fracking, Amity and Prosperity (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), is by turns a social history of mineral extraction, a close profile of a handful of citizens, myriad medical mysteries, and a legal thriller. The focus is a Pennsylvania town called Amity. Economically depressed, it saw natural gas as its salvation—much as the neighboring town, the ghostly Prosperity, once looked to coal. And though fracking did bring in money, like coal it also brought a host of problems, including illness, animal deaths, water contamination, and damaged infrastructure due to the dramatic increase in truck traffic. For Stacey Haney, a nurse and single mother of two who owned a farm near a major waste-water containment site, it was impossible to look away. Though she’d thought it was her “patriotic duty” to lease her land to a gas company, when her son became chronically ill , she spoke up, eventually filing suit against Range Resources. While a courageous pair of local lawyers devoted years to building the case—and foregoing payment—Griswold talked to a wide range of Amity citizens. She presents their views on government and corporate power, tells us their dreams and how fracking furthered or broke them, and shows how arguments about the greater good of the nation can ride roughshod over the basic rights of citizens, especially citizens who lack the means to fight back.

Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374103118
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - June 12th, 2018

Staff Pick

What’s the biggest single danger facing America today? According to recent national intelligence assessments, it’s not terrorism or nuclear weapons but cyberthreats. David E. Sanger of the New York Times has broken some big stories in this area. For one, he revealed Olympic Games, the code name for the most sophisticated cyberattack in history, the American-Israeli effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program with the Stuxnet worm. And with his Times colleague Bill Broad, he described, in 2017, a different cyber effort to neutralize North Korea’s missiles. In The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age (Crown, $28), Sanger explores the growing threat and use of cyberwarfare, the full dimension of which goes well beyond Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election in 2016. As Sanger notes, cyber capabilities now stand to transform military and geopolitical thinking and strategy as much or more than the advent of nuclear weapons did in the 20th century.

The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451497895
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown - June 19th, 2018

Staff Pick

The central question of Jill Lepore’s ambitious and masterful book, These Truths: A History of the United States (W.W. Norton, $39.95), is whether America has lived up to the ideals of its founders. For Lepore, a Harvard professor and New Yorker staff writer, America’s defining struggle has been trying to adhere to the three truths articulated by Thomas Jefferson—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people—while dealing with darker realities. Even at nearly 800 pages (not including footnotes), the book skips over a lot and focuses chiefly on political history, but it does tell a comprehensive and engaging story about the United States. It also serves, as Lepore intends, as “an old-fashioned civics book, an explanation of the origins and ends of democratic institutions.” By examining both the triumphs and failures of America, Lepore lays out not only the “uneasy path” the nation has travelled so far but leaves readers better prepared to navigate whatever lies ahead.

These Truths: A History of the United States Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393635249
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 18th, 2018