Killing A King: The Assassination Of Yitzhak Rabin And The Remaking Of Israel by Dan Ephron. (Norton) The 1995 murder of Rabin, the Israeli prime minister, also dealt a fatal blow to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with which he was identified. Ephron, a former Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek, details the violent episode and its lasting influence on the moribund prospects for peace today.
Thirteen Ways Of Looking: A Novella And Three Stories by Colum McCann. (Random House) The stories in this collection often unfold in agonizing scenarios, with glimmers of empathy throughout. The title novella centers on an elderly New York judge before he is fatally assaulted; the police investigation of his death raises questions about the limits of surveillance and perspective in unearthing the truth.
The Gay Revolution: The Story Of The Struggle by Lillian Faderman. (Simon & Schuster) The author, a noted scholar of lesbian history, offers a balanced biography of the gay rights movement from the 1950s through the present day: protests in the 1960s; the declassification of homosexuality as a mental illness; the AIDS epidemic; and the push for marriage equality.
The Dust That Falls From Dreams by Louis de Bernières. (Vintage) This novel follows a wealthy English family, the McCoshes, and their neighbors starting in the early 20th century. The story explores “timeless conflicts of love and loyalty, conflicts that can be rendered even more consequential when they intersect with large-scale political and historical events,” as Randy Boyagoda wrote in The Times.
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America’s Bank: The Epic Struggle To Create The Federal Reserve by Roger Lowenstein. (Penguin, $18.) The United States had no effective central banking system until the Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913. Lowenstein tells the story of the politicians and public figures who secured the bill’s passage through compromise and brilliant politicking, and of the disputes and crises endangering it.
Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott. (Riverhead) The misfit tenants – including an agoraphobe and an embittered comedian – of a deteriorating Brooklyn brownstone come together after their home is imperiled by their aging landlady’s son. The threat leads this makeshift family across the country, from a California commune to middle-American motel rooms to a natural wonder in the Smoky Mountains, as they offer one another love and support.
Witches Of America by Alex Mar. (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Pairing a journalistic inquiry with a personal spiritual quest, the author reports on the country’s occult societies. As Merritt Tierce put it in The Times: “If anything connects the various communities and traditions Mar writes about, it’s this primacy of the individual soul and choice, which is, of course, the holy fabric of Americanness.
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