Johnson's Enemy of All Mankind is an account of a pirate raid wrapped in both a biography and the larger history of empire and trade building. The biography traces the life of Henry Every, one of the most notorious pirates of the late 17th century, and recounts his attack on a Munghal ship, an incident that had deep repercussions for the East India Company and British-Indian relations. Johnson is incredibly good at telling an engaging story while also keeping an eye on the larger picture of how this bit of history influenced international power shifts and led to the formation of modern businesses and corporations
Author, historian, speechwriter, and cartoonist Jeff Shesol has produced a masterpiece of narrative history, exploring how the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and particularly Project Mercury, defined the Cold War era. A review in The New York Times notes Shesol’s “extraordinary qualities as a storyteller,” showcasing his talent for character portraits and use of historical detail for context. Historian David Brinkley applauds Shesol for capturing the drama and tension surrounding the Mercury launch, adding that the book “has movie written all over it.” But until a movie comes out, please just read it! Shesol’s visual sensibilities as an artist and his literary flair leap off every page.
As with a number of his previous books, former Washington Post journalist Michael Dobbs again portrays a president confronting a grave crisis. This time it’s Richard Nixon. Dobbs focuses on the 100 days after Nixon’s triumphant second inauguration, a period in which the president, having just been re-elected by one of the largest landslides in American history, found himself in the middle of a constitutional crisis. Over those weeks, key figures in the Watergate scandal began to confess, the cover-up started to unravel, and Nixon’s eventual downfall was set in motion. Making deft use of many hours of now-public White House tapes and other material, Dobbs brings to life the full tragedy of Nixon through scene-by-scene reconstructions that form a vivid, riveting, fast-paced, and illuminating narrative.