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The Dispensable Nation

The Dispensable Nation

American Foreign Policy in Retreat

by Vali Nasr

Paperback, 300 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published January 14 2014 | purchase
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  • The Dispensable Nation
  • American Foreign Policy in Retreat
  • Vali Nasr

The former State Department adviser for Afghanistan and Pakistan offers a reassessment of American foreign policy, offering his advice for directing our country away from failing relations in the Middle East and towards more productive partnerships with other foreign allies. He critiques the executive branch for looking to the military and intelligence agencies for approaches to problems in Afghanistan and elsewhere, rather than working with civilians to find political solutions.

News and Reviews
The Child Catchers

The Child Catchers

Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption

by Kathryn Joyce

Hardcover, 272 pages, Perseus Books Group, $26.99, published April 23 2013 | purchase
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  • The Child Catchers
  • Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption
  • Kathryn Joyce

The author of Quiverfull reveals how adoption has become entangled in the conservative Christian agenda as a reflection of pro-life initiatives, explaining how child and family well-being has become a lesser priority in a market increasingly driven by profit and religious ideology.

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In the House of the Interpreter

In the House of the Interpreter

A Memoir

by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

Hardcover, 240 pages, Random House Inc, $25.95, published November 6 2012 | purchase
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  • In the House of the Interpreter
  • A Memoir
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o
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Drift

Drift

The Unmooring of American Military Power

by Rachel Maddow

Paperback, 275 pages, Random House Inc, $15, published March 5 2013 | purchase
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  • Drift
  • The Unmooring of American Military Power
  • Rachel Maddow

In past wars, the U.S. practically dismantled its military after the troops came home. But today, says MSNBC News anchor and writer Rachel Maddow, the nation finds itself in a state of almost permanent war. Her book argues that the U.S. military has grown bloated partially because the nation is insulated from the wars its soldiers fight.NPR Bestseller

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The Swerve

The Swerve

How the World Became Modern

by Stephen Greenblatt

Paperback, 356 pages, W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., $16.95, published September 4 2012 | purchase
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  • The Swerve
  • How the World Became Modern
  • Stephen Greenblatt

A humanities professor describes the impact of the translation of the last remaining manuscript of On the Nature of Things by Roman philosopher Lucretius, which fueled the Renaissance and inspired artists, great thinkers and scientists.NPR Bestseller, Literary Award Winner

News and Reviews
Escape from Camp 14

Escape From Camp 14

One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West

by Blaine Harden

Paperback, 210 pages, Penguin Group USA, $15, published March 26 2013 | purchase
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  • Escape From Camp 14
  • One Man's Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West
  • Blaine Harden

Until his early 20s, the only life Shin Dong-hyuk had ever known was one of constant beatings, near starvation and snitching on others to survive. Born into one of the worst of North Korea's system of prison camps, Shin was doomed to a life of hard labor and an early death. But when he was 23, he managed to elude the guards and escape. Reporter Blaine Harden tells the tale of Shin's imprisonment and astounding getaway.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
Why Does the World Exist?

Why Does The World Exist?

An Existential Detective Story

by Jim Holt

Paperback, 320 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $16.95, published April 8 2013 | purchase
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  • Why Does The World Exist?
  • An Existential Detective Story
  • Jim Holt

The search for the origins of the universe extends beyond God and the Big Bang theory; a philosopher explores the bizarre possibilities inspired by physicists, theologians, mathematicians and even novelists.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
In the Garden of Beasts

In The Garden Of Beasts

Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

by Erik Larson

Paperback, 448 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published May 1 2012 | purchase
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  • In The Garden Of Beasts
  • Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin
  • Erik Larson

The best-selling author of Devil in the White City documents the efforts of William E. Dodd, the first American ambassador to Hitler's Germany, to acclimate to a residence in an increasingly violent city where he is forced to associate with the Nazis while his daughter pursues a relationship with Gestapo chief Rudolf Diels. NPR Bestseller

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Taco USA

Taco USA

How Mexican Food Conquered America

by Gustavo Arellano

Paperback, 310 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published April 16 2013 | purchase
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  • Taco USA
  • How Mexican Food Conquered America
  • Gustavo Arellano

For 50 years, the taco has been a staple of American life. It's in school lunches and Michelin-star restaurants; it even helped launch the food truck craze. So how did the taco come to loom so large in American bellies? Gustavo Arellano explains our love of all things folded into a tortilla.

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Air Castle of the South

Air Castle of the South

WSM and the Making of Music City

by Craig Havighurst

Paperback, 320 pages, Univ of Illinois Pr, $27.95, published April 15 2013 | purchase
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  • Air Castle of the South
  • WSM and the Making of Music City
  • Craig Havighurst

When a proposal to pull country music from the Nashville radio station WSM sparked public outcry in 2002, Craig Havighurst scoured new and existing sources to document the station's effect on the city's character and self-image.

News and Reviews
Paris to the Pyrenees

Paris to the Pyrenees

A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James

by David Downie

Hardcover, 317 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $27.95, published April 1 2013 | purchase
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  • Paris to the Pyrenees
  • A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James
  • David Downie

David Downie chronicles the pilgrimmage he took with his wife from Paris to the Pyrenees and ultimately to the sanctuary of Saint James, a journey on which they followed age-old trails through France rather than the commercialized Spanish route.

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'Til Faith Do Us Part

'Til Faith Do Us Part

How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America

by Naomi Schaefer Riley

Hardcover, 234 pages, Oxford Univ Pr, $24.95, published April 2 2013 | purchase
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  • 'Til Faith Do Us Part
  • How Interfaith Marriage Is Transforming America
  • Naomi Schaefer Riley
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Bolivar

Bolivar

American Liberator

by Marie Arana

Hardcover, 603 pages, Simon & Schuster, $35, published April 9 2013 | purchase
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  • Bolivar
  • American Liberator
  • Marie Arana

An authoritative portrait of the Latin-American warrior-statesman examines his life against a backdrop of the tensions of 19th-century South America, covering his achievements as a strategist, abolitionist and diplomat.

News and Reviews
Comandante

Comandante

Hugo Chavez's Venezuela

by Rory Carroll

Hardcover, 302 pages, Penguin Group USA, $27.95, published March 7 2013 | purchase
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  • Comandante
  • Hugo Chavez's Venezuela
  • Rory Carroll

As president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez was a tremendous political force who tried to transform his nation. A journalist paints a picture of Chavez's life and his political career based on interviews with ministers, aides, courtiers and everyday citizens.

News and Reviews
This Love Is Not for Cowards

This Love Is Not For Cowards

Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juarez

by Robert Andrew Powell

Paperback, 368 pages, St Martins Pr, $17, published April 9 2013 | purchase
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  • This Love Is Not For Cowards
  • Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juarez
  • Robert Andrew Powell

As Mexico descends into a feudal narco-state — one where cartels, death squads, the army and local police all fight over billions of dollars in profits from drug and human trafficking — the border city of Juarez has been hit hardest of all. Yet more than a million people still live there. They even love their impoverished city, proudly repeating its mantra: "Amor por Juarez," or "Love for Juarez." And nothing exemplifies the spirit and hope of Juarenses more than the Indios, the city's beloved but hard-luck soccer team.

News and Reviews
Meatless Days

Meatless Days

by Sara Suleri

Paperback, 186 pages, Univ of Chicago Pr, $14, published June 11 1991 | purchase
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  • Meatless Days
  • Sara Suleri
News and Reviews
Outside The Wire

Outside the Wire

American Soldiers' Voices from Afghanistan

by Christine Dumaine Leche

Hardcover, 148 pages, University of Virginia Press, $23.95, published April 8 2013 | purchase
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  • Outside the Wire
  • American Soldiers' Voices from Afghanistan
  • Christine Dumaine Leche

This collection of 38 narratives by American soldiers serving in Afghanistan offers an inside look at everyday life in a war zone. Writing instructor Christine Dumaine Leche taught classes at air bases in the Afghan war zone, and her students — who often attended class after a long day of conflict and danger — composed these personal, emotional reflections.

News and Reviews
Help, Thanks, Wow

Help, Thanks, Wow

The Three Essential Survival Prayers

by Anne Lamott

Hardcover, 102 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17.95, published November 13 2012 | purchase
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  • Help, Thanks, Wow
  • The Three Essential Survival Prayers
  • Anne Lamott

Help, Thanks, Wow describes the three simple prayers — asking for assistance from a higher power, expressing gratitude and feeling awe — that help to deal with the hardships of daily life.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind The Beautiful Forevers

Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity

by Katherine Boo

Hardcover, 256 pages, Random House Inc, $27, published February 7 2012 | purchase
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  • Behind The Beautiful Forevers
  • Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
  • Katherine Boo

A profile of everyday life in the settlement of Annawadi as experienced by a Muslim teen, an ambitious rural mother and a young scrap-metal thief, illuminating the way their efforts to build better lives are challenged by religion, caste and economic tensions.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
The Girls of Atomic City

The Girls Of Atomic City

The Untold Story of the Women who Helped Win World War II

by Denise Kiernan

Paperback, 373 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published March 11 2014 | purchase
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  • The Girls Of Atomic City
  • The Untold Story of the Women who Helped Win World War II
  • Denise Kiernan

In Oak Ridge, Tenn., during World War II, thousands of young women were helping the war effort. They knew that sharing even seemingly innocent details about their labors could be cause for dismissal. Their work was as mysterious as it was top-secret — until the bombs were dropped.NPR Bestseller

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Those Angry Days

Those Angry Days

Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight over World War II, 1939-1941

by Lynne Olson

Hardcover, 548 pages, Random House Inc, $18, published March 26 2013 | purchase
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  • Those Angry Days
  • Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight over World War II, 1939-1941
  • Lynne Olson

Lynne Olson traces the crisis period leading up to America entering World War II, describing the nation's polarized interventionist and isolationist factions as represented by the government, in the press and on the streets.NPR Bestseller

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Detroit

Detroit

An American Autopsy

by Charlie LeDuff

Paperback, 287 pages, Penguin Group USA, $17, published January 28 2014 | purchase
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  • Detroit
  • An American Autopsy
  • Charlie LeDuff

When he returned to his old hometown, Detroit, Charlie LeDuff was horrified to see how far the city had fallen. He used his reporting experience to try to uncover what had happened to what was once America's richest city.NPR Bestseller

News and Reviews
Between Man and Beast

Between Man and Beast

An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm

by Monte Reel

Paperback, 402 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published December 3 2013 | purchase
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  • Between Man and Beast
  • An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm
  • Monte Reel

The improbable explorer Paul du Chaillu was the first European to confirm the existence of gorillas. The discovery he made on his West African expedition turned a legend into scientific fact, but his findings did not go unquestioned. Monte Reel delves into the complex history of du Chaillu — an adventurer without a scientific background, an observer whose reports were marred by exaggerations and a man altogether embroiled in controversies, from Darwin's discoveries to his own family history.

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Keeping Hope Alive

Keeping Hope Alive

One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed

by Hawa, Dr. Abdi

Hardcover, 246 pages, Grand Central Pub, $26.99, published April 2 2013 | purchase
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  • Keeping Hope Alive
  • One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed
  • Hawa, Dr. Abdi

In a story of bravery and perseverance, Dr. Hawa Abdi, "the Mother Teresa of Somalia," reflects on founding the camp for internal refugees that kept 90,000 of her fellow citizens safe, inspiring her daughters to become doctors and being kidnapped by radical insurgents.

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