Robert Nardini

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Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation's Leaders

Readers who enjoyed Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation will enjoy Carlson's similar book.

The Nixon Tapes: 1973

General readers might prefer earlier transcription efforts, such as Watergate principal John Dean's 2014 The Nixon Defense, since the excerpts in that book are shorter and more context is given. Even so, these longer excerpts resemble an oddly fascinating reality show, and historians will like that Brinkley and Nichter worked with the most complete body of recordings and used audio equipment of the highest quality to ensure transcription accuracy.

Ballots, Bullets, and Bargains: American Foreign Policy and Presidential Elections

Readers will find this a useful, accessible survey of the topic, enriched by Armacost's firsthand recollections from his diplomatic career, which includes the Japanese ambassadorship.

Controlling the Message: New Media in American Political Campaigns

This book was written for scholars; political scientists specializing in this emerging field will appreciate the rigor of these studies. Other readers, however, would find the book inaccessible. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/15.]

Paying With Their Bodies: American War and the Problem of the Disabled Veteran

Kinder's own antiwar opinions are evident throughout his work, which some readers may feel detracts from its value. All readers will agree, however, that the author's research is valuable, although some might prefer Beth Linker's more focused War's Waste.

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society

The author will engage academic readers with the nuance of his argument. While general readers will not find the grandeur of Robert Caro here, they will appreciate the clarity of Zelizer's writing and the brevity of his account. All readers will take note of his apt references to current Congressional dynamics and will discover in this book a fine complement to Caro's work. [See Prepub Alert, 7/21/14.]

Do-It-Yourself Democracy: The Rise of the Public Engagement Industry

While Lee is occasionally guilty of fairly dense academic jargon, most readers interested in the topic will overlook that problem given the book's well-written first-person accounts of the events she attended and for the nuanced but devastating critique of an industry she portrays as needing one.

For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice

Timed to coincide with Veterans Day, the book is filled with inspiring narratives, and while most readers will be unable to support veterans in the manner Schultz now does through his company and foundation, the authors will likely have some success in "bridging the civilian-military divide."

The End of Greatness: Why America Can't Have (and Doesn't Want) Another Great President

The best part of Miller's book is his final chapter on President Barack Obama, in which he discusses unrealistic expectations. He would have been better served expanding that analysis into a long essay. Much of the rest of the volume is repetitive and not especially novel.

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