War, Domestic Terror, & Discovering the Southwest: History Previews, Jul. 2019, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Sabotaging Nazi scientists, liberating Paris, and marching through the Pacific: plenty for World War II fans in July. But there’s also the 1,700-mile journey of two brave friars, domestic terror in the 1970s, and the semicolon throughout history, with the consequences of grammar spelled out.  

Kean, Sam. The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb. Little, Brown. Jul. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780316381680. $30. HISTORY
A New York Times best-selling science writer, twice nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and most recently the author of cover of Kean's The Bastard Brigadethe Guardian best-booked Caesar's Last Breath, Kean here enlightens us on the Alsos Mission, created by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services to gather intelligence on the scientific research being conducted by the Axis powers. The boldest participants were embedded in the German scientific community to keep Hitler from getting the bomb. With a 75,000-copy first printing. 

McManus, John C. Fire and Fortitude: The US Army in the Pacific War, 1941–1943. Dutton Caliber. Jul. 2019. 640p. ISBN 9780451475046. $34; ebk. ISBN 9780698192768. Downloadable. HISTORY
The prolific author of works like The Dead and Those About To Die and Curators’ Distinguished Professor of US Military History at Missouri University of Science and Technology, McManus shifts our focus by chronicling the efforts of the U.S. Army, not the Navy, in the Pacific theater during World War II. This first of two volumes opens with Pearl Harbor and unfolds through the capture of the Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. 

Roberts, David. Escalante’s Dream: On the Trail of the Spanish Discovery of the Southwest. Norton. Jul. 2019. 288p. ISBN 9780393652062. $26.95. HISTORY
Winner of the American Alpine Club Literary Award and the author of numerous books on mountaineering, exploration, and anthropology, Roberts here reconstructs the journey of two real adventurers: fathers Francisco Atanasio Domínguez and Francisco Vélez de Escalante, who left Santa Fe in July 1776 to find a route to the new Spanish missions in California. Their 1,700-mile journey was longer than that of Lewis and Clark. 

Rosenau, William. Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol: The Explosive Story of M19, America’s First Female Terrorist Group. Atria. Jul. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781501170126. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501170140. HISTORY
Political activism started cooling in the late 1970s, but one group kept up the pressure: the May 19th Communist Organization, known as M19 and named for the birthday shared by Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh. M19 effected prison breakouts, bloody armed robberies, and a bombing campaign in Washington, DC, and, significantly, was created and led by women. From a research scientist who has advised the State Department on cover of Smith's The Liberation of Pariscounterterrorism; with a 35,000-copy first printing.

Smith, Jean Edward. The Liberation of Paris: How Eisenhower, de Gaulle, and von Choltitz Saved the City of Light. S. & S. Jul. 2019. 256p. ISBN 9781501164927. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501164941. HISTORY
In late June 1944, the Allies were marching across northern France, intent on crossing the Rhine and ending the war by winter. Then Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, fearing partisan conflict and possible Communist ascension in Paris, answered Charles de Gaulle’s plea to help liberate the city—even as the German commandant was quietly preparing to surrender it instead of burning it down. Smith, a Francis Parkman Prize winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, considers the impact on the war effort. 

Watson, Cecelia. Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark. Ecco. Jul. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9780062853059. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062853073. HISTORY/LANGUAGE
The semicolon used to be so popular (I’ve always been a fan). But, shows the protean Watson, a historian, philosopher of science, and writing teacher, the stricter grammar rules that emerged in the 19th century led to its downfall. Here she uses her historical tracery of the noble semicolon to show how grammar rules can get in the way of communication. For fans of Eats, Shoots and Leaves; with a 50,000-copy first printing. 

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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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