From Henry VIII to Frederick Douglass to Sixties Fault Lines: History Previews, Jan. 2019 | Prepub Alert

History in January 2019 ranges from Henry VIII to the Cuban revolution and embraces a graphic-format autobiography of Fredrick Douglass.

Borman, Tracy.Henry VIII: And the Men Who Made Him.Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780802128430. $27. HISTORY

England’s joint chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces and chief executive of the Heritage Education Trust, Borman is a noted historian (e.g.,The Private Lives of the Tudors) who recently published her first book of historical fiction (The King’s Witch, “an engaging page-turner,”LJ). Here she looks at Henry VIII from the perspective of the ministers, confidants, and servants who helped, influenced, and sometimes even led him (he wasn’t quite 18 at his coronation).

Kruse, Kevin M. & Julian E. Zelizer.Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.Norton. Jan. 2019. 400p. ISBN 9780393088663. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393634549. HISTORY

A nation divided, with people clamoring for their rights—that was America in the 1960s, and the consequences started reverberating in the 1970s. Professors Kruse (One Nation Under God) and Zelizer (The Fierce Urgency of Now) draw on their ragingly popular course at Princeton to show how Sixties tumult revealed fractures in society that have since widened. Expect attention; both authors are active in the op-ed pages and on social media.

Milton, Giles.Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day.Picador. Jan. 2019. 432p. ISBN 9781250134929. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781250134943. CD. HISTORY

As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Milton, who has beguiled us with narrative histories fromNathaniel's NutmegtoChurchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, offers a history of that momentous event embracing the perspective not just of commanders but of everyone who played a part—e.g., teenage Allied soldiers, French resistance fighters, German defenders, a French butcher’s daughter, and the chauffeur to the General Staff.

Perrottet, Tony.Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel, and the Improbable Revolution That Changed World History.Blue Rider. Jan. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780735218161. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735218185. Downloadable. Spanish ed.Cuba libre: Cómo una banda de guerrilleros autoentrenados derrocó a un dictador y cambió la historia del mundo. HarperCollins Español. Dec. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781418597818. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781418597726. HISTORY

Historian and travel writer Perrottet takes us back to the Cuban revolution, as a bunch of idealistic college students and untested revolutionaries led by the magnetic Fidel Castro and Che Guevara managed to defeat a spit-and-polish army of 40,000 professional soldiers to overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Lots of nitty-gritty, you-are-there details, e.g., how do you make lethal land mines from cans of condensed milk?

Walker, David F. (text) & Damon Smyth & Marissa Louise (illus.).Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of an Extraordinary Life.Ten Speed. Jan. 2019. 192p. ISBN 9780399581441. pap. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399581458. BIOGRAPHY/GN

Comic book writer and filmmaker Walker has done major work with Marvel Comics, CD Comics, Dark Horse, and more, but here he’s doing something different. He offers a graphic-format account of the life of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, from his youth as a slave through his stealthy education and escape from bondage to his powerful influence during the Civil War and beyond. With noted illustrators Smyth and Louise.

Zia, Helen.Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao's Revolution.Ballantine. Jan. 2019. 528p. ISBN 9780345522320. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525618867. HISTORY

With the Communist triumph in China, the residents of glittering, sophisticated Shanghai feared repressive rule and fled en masse. Chinese American journalist Zia (Asian American Dreams) details their flight, drawing on interviews with hundreds of exiles—the last alive to recall the ordeal. The story unfolds through the lives of four young immigrants, including a defeated Nationalist officer’s daughter and a young man worried about his family back home as he resists deportation from America so that he can continue his studies.

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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.

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