U.S. History: Nov. 2022, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

From Samuel Adams to the Father of the Underground Railroad and more. 

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Diemer, Andrew K. Vigilance: The Life of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad. Knopf. Nov. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780593534380. $30. Downloadable. HISTORY

Born free of previously enslaved parents in 1821, William Still was hired as a clerk at Philadelphia’s Anti-Slavery Office and was soon directly involved in helping hundreds of people escape to freedom across the Mason-Dixon Line. Towson University professor Diemer (The Politics of Black Citizenship) revivifies the story of the man known in his lifetime as “the father of the Underground Railroad.”

Kagan, Robert. The Ghost at the Feast: America and the Collapse of World Order, 1900–1941. Knopf. Nov. 2022. 688p. ISBN 9780307262943. $35. HISTORY

A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and cofounder of the neoconservative Project for the New American Century, Kagan examines the bumpy road taken by the United States to world power in the 20th century, as the dream of neutrality came up against a desire to play arbiter. While acknowledging some huge moral lapses in U.S. foreign policy, he argues for a U.S. interventionist approach to world affairs today. Sure to be a dust stirrer.

Lancaster, John. The Great Air Race: Death, Glory, and the Dawn of American Aviation. Liveright: Norton. Nov. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781631496370. $28.95. HISTORY

In his first book, veteran journalist Lancaster soars along with dozens of pilots, mostly World War I veterans, who joined the U.S. transcontinental air race of October 1919 with the aim of being the first to complete a roundtrip flight between New York and San Francisco in a fragile, open-cockpit biplane. He flew the route himself, which should make the reading even more fun.

Mufti, Shahan. American Caliph: The True Story of a Muslim Mystic, a Hollywood Epic, and the 1977 Siege of Washington, DC. Farrar. Nov. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780374208585. $30. HISTORY

On March 9, 1977, members of the Hanafi Movement—a Washington, DC–based Black Muslim group—took hostages at B’nai B’rith International headquarters and the Islamic Center of Washington, the city’s most important mosque, and also entered the District Building. Nation of Islam breakaway Hamaas Abdul Khaalis made numerous demands, from the surrender of the men who had murdered his family to the cancellation (and destruction) of an epic film about the Prophet Muhammad’s life, and the just-created U.S. counterterrorism forces were sorely tested. From University of Richmond journalism chair Mufti (The Faithful Scribe); with a 20,000-copy first printing.

Schiff, Stacy. The Revolutionary Samuel Adams. Little, Brown. Nov. 2022. 464p. ISBN 9780316441117. $35. CD/downloadable. BIOGRAPHY

Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer Schiff follows up The Witches: Salem, 1692 with a biography of Samuel Adams, a somewhat overlooked Founding Father known especially for his eloquence in rallying others to the cause of rebellion against the Crown. Relevant to our times, he was also a master of fake news.

Young, RJ. Requiem for the Massacre: A Black History on the Conflict, Hope, and Fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Counterpoint. Nov. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9781640095021. $26. HISTORY

Author of the acclaimed Let It Bang: A Young Black Man's Reluctant Odyssey into Guns, the Tulsa-raised Young digs deep into events surrounding the city’s horrific 1921 massacre of Black residents while also considering how Tulsa deals with the legacy of the massacre and ongoing racial injustice today. FOX sportscaster Young has a big social media presence.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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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