Current Issues: Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2023, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Books in times of political and cultural upheaval. 

Baron, Martin. Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and the Washington Post. Flatiron: Macmillan. Oct. 2023. 560p. ISBN 9781250844200. $34.99. CD/downloadable. POLITICAL SCIENCE

Appointed executive editor of the Washington Post in 2013, shortly before Jeff Bezos bought the paper, Baron soon had to contend with Donald Trump’s presidency and continuing attacks on the press. Here he recounts being caught squarely between two powerful men while working to maintain the paper’s integrity and quality work. With a 500,000-copy first printing.

Kostyuchenko, Elena. I Love Russia: Reporting from a Lost Country. Penguin Pr. Oct. 2023. 400p. tr. from Russian by Bela Shayevich & Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse. ISBN 9780593655269. $30. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Russian journalist/activist Kostyuchenko entered Ukraine in March 2022 to report on the war for her country’s last independent press, Novaya Gazeta, intent on showing her compatriots the horrors being inflicted in their name and knowing she faced arrest if she returned. (The paper was subsequently shuttered.) Here she combines personal essays with her reportage from the last 15 years, ranging from queer rights to village girls forced into sex work, to document authoritarian Russia today.

Jabali, Malaika. It’s Not You, It’s Capitalism: Why It’s Time to Break Up and How to Move On. Algonquin: Workman: Hachette. Oct. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9781643752648. $24. POLITICAL SCIENCE/ECONOMICS

In these deeply income-unequal days, with work hours up and real wages down, capitalism has been coming in for some biting remarks; surveys show that more than half of millennials and Gen Z-ers are suspicious of its tenets. But they don’t know much about socialism, something Jabali, a senior news and politics editor at Essence magazine, intends to correct. Here’s a spirited and reader-friendly discussion from a longtime socialist adherent that also highlights unrecognized socialists of color and the contributions they’ve made. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Levitsky, Steven & Daniel Ziblatt. Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point. Crown. Oct. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593443071. $28.99. POLITICAL SCIENCE

The United States appears to be on its way to becoming a multiracial democracy, but will it make it? Harvard professors Levitsky and Ziblatt aren’t sure, pointing out that unlike other modern democracies (e.g., Germany, Argentina, and New Zealand), it has retained outmoded institutions like elite upper chambers, indirect elections, and lifetime tenure for judges that perpetuate minority rule. Without correctives, the nation could cease to be a democracy altogether. Following the New York Times best-selling How Democracies Die.

Raymond, Edwin with Jon Sternfeld. An Inconvenient Cop: My Fight To Change Policing in America. Viking. Oct. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593653166. $29. MEMOIR/POLITICS

A ranked lieutenant in the New York Police Department, first-generation Haitian American Raymond is also the lead plaintiff in the biggest civil rights lawsuit the NYPD has ever faced. Raised in a poor, mostly immigrant section of Brooklyn, he had joined the force to help his community only to realize that iniquities within the ranks weren't down to a few rogue cops; the entire system was structured to ensure that that racial profiling took place—and was rewarded.

Thrall, Nathan. A Day in the Life of Abed Salama: Anatomy of a Jerusalem Tragedy. Metropolitan: Holt. Oct. 2023. ISBN 9781250854971. $29.99. Downloadable. INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

After a serious accident involving a bus taking schoolchildren to a theme park outside Jerusalem, Abed Salama rushed to the scene in search of his five-year-old son, Milad. Children were missing or unidentified, with those rescued taken to different hospitals, but Abed had another, greater problem: as a Palestinian, he had the wrong papers to pass military checkpoints and enter Jerusalem to find Milad. The former director of the Arab-Israeli Project at the International Crisis Group, Thrall puts the Jewish-Palestinian struggle in human terms. With a 70,000-copy first printing.

Wingfield, Adia Harvey. Gray Areas: How the Way We Work Perpetuates Racism and What We Can Do To Fix It. Amistad: HarperCollins. Oct. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063079816. $29.99. BUSINESS/DISCRIMINATION

Despite efforts to end discrimination and promote diversity, the workplace is still haunted by what C. Wright Mills Award–winning sociologist Wingfield calls “gray areas”—factors like relationships, networking, and cultural dynamics that can determine one’s success on the job. In the end, she says, Black employees are still less likely to be hired or to reach top management levels, and here she highlights the experiences of seven individuals pulled from 200 interviewees. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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