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Better Off Without 'Em

Better Off Without 'Em

A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession

by Chuck Thompson

Paperback, 312 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published July 16 2013 | purchase
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  • Better Off Without 'Em
  • A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession
  • Chuck Thompson

Chuck Thompson describes his road-trip investigation into the North-South cultural divide in America. He meets with possum-hunting conservatives, trailer park lifers and prayer warriors before concluding that both sides might have been better of if the Confederate states had seceded.

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This Town

This Town

Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America's Gilded Capital

by Mark Leibovich

Hardcover, 386 pages, Blue Rider Press, $27.95, published July 16 2013 | purchase
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  • This Town
  • Two Parties and a Funeral — Plus Plenty of Valet Parking! — in America's Gilded Capital
  • Mark Leibovich

A New York Times political feature correspondent examines the power wars and exploitative practices of the government in Washington, D.C., revealing how journalism careers are made and broken while news events and scandals are used as networking platforms.NPR Bestseller

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Smart Cities

Smart Cities

Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia

by Anthony Townsend

Hardcover, 400 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $28.95, published October 7 2013 | purchase
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  • Smart Cities
  • Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia
  • Anthony Townsend

Urbanist and technology expert Anthony Townsend takes a broad, historical look at the forces that have shaped the planning and design of cities and information technologies.

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The Twilight War

The Twilight War

The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict With Iran

by David Crist

Paperback, 642 pages, Penguin Group USA, $18, published July 2 2013 | purchase
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  • The Twilight War
  • The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict With Iran
  • David Crist

David Crist outlines the secret history of America's 30-year conflict with Iran. Through interviews with hundreds of officials and classified military archives, Crist details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

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Conversations With Myself

Conversations With Myself

by Nelson Mandela

Paperback, 454 pages, St Martins Press, $18, published September 27 2011 | purchase
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  • Conversations With Myself
  • Nelson Mandela

Draws on the author's personal archive of never-before-seen papers to offer unique access to the private life of the incomparable world leader, who worked from prison to end apartheid in South Africa. By the author of Long Walk to Freedom.

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The Center Holds

The Center Holds

Obama and His Enemies

by Jonathan Alter

Hardcover, 428 pages, Simon & Schuster, $19, published June 4 2013 | purchase
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  • The Center Holds
  • Obama and His Enemies
  • Jonathan Alter

Traces President Obama's reelection campaign against a backdrop of widespread unemployment and a vindictive political climate, offering insights into Mitt Romney's rival campaign and how the race reflected current views about the roles of government and societal values.

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The Watchers

The Watchers

The Rise of America's Surveillance State

by Shane Harris

Paperback, 424 pages, Penguin Books, $15, published January 25 2011 | purchase
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  • The Watchers
  • The Rise of America's Surveillance State
  • Shane Harris

Charts the rise of America's surveillance state throughout the past quarter century, arguing that government strategy has made it harder to catch terrorists and easier to spy on everyday citizens.

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The Unwinding

The Unwinding

An Inner History of the New America

by George Packer

Paperback, 434 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $16, published March 4 2014 | purchase
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  • The Unwinding
  • An Inner History of the New America
  • George Packer

According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of understanding among Americans — one in which everyone had a job and a purpose. But that deal has come undone. In The Unwinding, Packer explores what happened. The book is a collection of vignettes and profiles of ordinary and famous American lives, from the son of Southern tobacco farmers to a Silicon Valley billionaire.NPR Bestseller

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The Oath

The Oath

The Obama White House and the Supreme Court

by Jeffrey Toobin

Paperback, 325 pages, Random House Inc, $16, published June 4 2013 | purchase
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  • The Oath
  • The Obama White House and the Supreme Court
  • Jeffrey Toobin

President Obama and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts both went to Harvard Law School and worked on the Harvard Law Review, but their similar legal backgrounds have led to dramatically different conclusions. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine, presents an insider's account of an ideological war between the Roberts Supreme Court and the Obama administration. Toobin argues that the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision and the Affordable Care Act ruling show how the Constitution is being reinterpreted — and how Supreme Court precedent is being quickly overturned.NPR Bestseller

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A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel

A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel

Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China

by Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang

Hardcover, 334 pages, Perseus Books Group, $27.99, published April 2 2013 | purchase
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  • A Death in the Lucky Holiday Hotel
  • Murder, Money, and an Epic Power Struggle in China
  • Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang

Pin Ho and Wenguang Huang document the scandalous corruption of the Bo Xilai family while offering insight into its implications at the height of a transformational power shift in China. The writers draw on high-level sources and insider information to cover such topics as the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, Bo's celebrity lovers and his wife's trial.

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The Wolf and the Watchman

The Wolf And The Watchman

A Father, a Son, and the CIA

by Scott C. Johnson

Hardcover, 304 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $26.95, published May 20 2013 | purchase
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  • The Wolf And The Watchman
  • A Father, a Son, and the CIA
  • Scott C. Johnson

A former Newsweek foreign correspondent describes how the ongoing deception he lived with as a teenager after learning his father was a spy for the CIA led him to a career in uncovering truths around the world.

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Algerian Chronicles

Algerian Chronicles

by Albert Camus

Hardcover, 224 pages, Harvard Univ Pr, $21.95, published May 6 2013 | purchase
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  • Algerian Chronicles
  • Albert Camus

Author Albert Camus' agonized reflections on Algeria and the dead end of terrorism are gathered here in English for the first time. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer.

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