Reformation, Women’s Perspectives, and a Sleeper Agent: History Previews, Jul. 2021, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Eight wide-ranging history titles for July.

Brookwood, Marilyn. The Orphans of Davenport: Eugenics, the Great Depression, and the War over Children's Intelligence. Liveright: Norton. Jul. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781631494680. $28.95. SOCIAL HISTORY

Daughton, J.P. In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-Océan Railroad and the Tragedy of cover of Hagedorn's Sleeper AgentFrench Colonialism. Norton. Jul. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9780393541014. $30. HISTORY/AFRICA

Flavell, Julie. The Howe Dynasty: The Untold Story of a Military Family and the Women Behind Britain's Wars for America. Liveright: Norton. Jul. 2021. 496p. ISBN 9781631490613. $35. HISTORY/GREAT BRITAIN

Gallagher, Winifred. New Women in the Old West: From Settlers to Suffragists, An Untold American Story. Penguin Pr. Jul. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780735223257. $28. HISTORY/WOMEN

Hagedorn, Ann. Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away. S. & S. Jul. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781501173943. $28. HISTORY/TWENTIETH CENTURY

Milton, Giles. Checkmate in Berlin: The Cold War Showdown That Shaped the Modern World . Holt. Jul. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781250247568. $29.99. HISTORY/EUROPE

Sohn, Amy. The Man Who Hated Women: Sex, Censorship, and Civil Liberties in the Gilded Age. Farrar. Jul. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781250174819. $28. HISTORY/AMERICAN

Wyman, Patrick. The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years That Shook the World. Twelve: Hachette. Jul. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781538701188. $30. HISTORY/EUROPE

Psychologist Brookwood’s The Orphans of Davenport shows that when psychologist Harold Skeels and colleague Marie Skodak sent two toddler girls whose parents had intellectual disabilities to the Orphans’ Home in Davenport, IA, in 1934, the girls flourished, proving eugenicists wrong—a child's capabilites aren't all about nature. Award-winning Stanford professor Daughton’s In the Forest of No Joy covers new territory in the brutal history of colonialism by chronicling the construction of the Congo-Océan railroad across the Republic of Congo from Brazzaville to the Atlantic port of Pointe-Noir. Author of When London Was Capital of America, Flavell shows how The Howe Dynasty—including British Admiral Richard and General William Howe and their sister Caroline—influenced the course of Revolutionary War and other wars at the time. In New Women in the Old West, Gallagher (How the Post Office Created America) portrays the settling of the American West from the women’s perspective, including the stories of Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women. Former Wall Street staffer Hagedorn’s Sleeper Agent is George Koval, born in America and taken back to the Soviet Union by his idealistic Russian Jewish parents in the 1930s; he returned later after being recruited by the Red army and became the only Soviet military spy with security clearances for the Manhattan project (40,000-copy first printing). In Checkmate in Berlin, best-selling author Milton (Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die) chronicles the Allies' post–World War II division of Germany and especially Berlin and the tensions that resulted (40,000-copy first printing). A New York Times best-selling novelist, Sohn turns to nonfiction with The Man Who Hated Women, an account of anti-vice activist and U.S. Postal Inspector Anthony Comstock and the restrictive Comstock Law. In The Verge, Wyman, whose Tides of History podcast boasts 600,000 subscribers, looks at the crucial impact of Europe’s Reformation/Renaissance era (50,000-copy first printing).

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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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