American History, World History, and Tough Women: History Previews, Mar. 2021, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

History embracing social justice, serious milestones, and strong women.

American History

Levine, Bruce. Thaddeus Stevens: Civil War Revolutionary, Fighter for Racial Justice. S. & S. Mar. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781476793375. $28. HISTORY

Masur, Kate. Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction. Norton. Mar. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781324005933. $32. HISTORY

Pearl, Tobey. Terror to the Wicked: America’s First Trial by Jury That Ended a War and Helped To Form a Nation. Pantheon. Mar. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781101871713. $28.95. Downloadable. HISTORY

Best-selling historian Levine showcases Thaddeus Stevens, a leader of the young Republican Party’s radical wing who battled slavery and proposed antiracist policies before, during, and after the Civil War (50,000-copy first printing). In Until Justice Be Done, Lincoln Prize finalist Masur chronicles a biracial movement launched in the early 1800s to combat codes enacted by some states restricting the rights of free black people. In Terror to the Wicked, legally trained Pearl chronicles America’s first trial by jury, held in Providence, Plymouth Colony, in 1638 and concerning the murder of a young Nipmuc man by a runaway white servant and his cronies.

World History

Bergreen, Laurence. In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth I, and the Perilous Birth of the British Empire. Custom House: Morrow. Mar. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9780062875358. $29.99. lrg. prnt. HISTORY

Colley, Linda. The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World. Liveright: Norton. Mar. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9780871403162. $35. HISTORY

Lloyd, Nick. The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914–1918. Liveright: Norton. Mar. 2021. 640p. ISBN 9781631497940. $35. HISTORY

Best-selling author Bergreen’s In Search of a Kingdom profiles brash pirate Francis Drake, who plundered gold and jewels for young Queen Elizabeth, led the fight against the Spanish Armada, and came in first in the contest to circumnavigate the globe (100,000-copy first printing). Wolfson Prize winner Colley’s The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen retells modern history from the perspective of the constitutions drafted over the last three centuries by rulers from Catherine the Great to Tunisia’s soldier-constitutionalist, Khayr-al-Din. A rising-star military historian at King's College London, Lloyd ambitiously takes on The Western Front, covering the entire front from 1914 to 1918.

Tough Women

Angela, Alberto. Cleopatra: The Queen Who Challenged Rome and Conquered Eternity. HarperVia. Mar. 2021. 448p. tr. from Italian by Katherine Gregor. ISBN 9780062984210. $28.99. HISTORY/ANCIENT EGYPT

Morton, Andrew. Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters. Grand Central. Mar. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781538700464. $28. CD/downloadable. ROYALTY/BRITISH

Wickenden, Dorothy. The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights. Scribner. Mar. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781476760735. $30.

Italian cultural magnate Angela gives us Cleopatra, homing in on the crucial era from the end of the Roman Republic with Julius Caesar’s assassination to the suicides of Antony and Cleopatra and the birth of the Augustan Empire (20,000-copy first printing). New York Times best-selling celebrity biographer Morton takes on the top-drawer glitter of Elizabeth & Margaret. Executive editor of The New Yorker and author of the New York Times best-selling Nothing Daunted, Wickenden shows in The Agitators how Underground Railroad purveyor Harriet Tubman, middle-class Quaker mother Martha Wright, and upper-crust Frances Seward, wife of Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state, worked together to defeat slavery and secure equal rights for Blacks and women (100,000-copy first printing).

Author Image
Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing