Editors’ Picks

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In this monumental book, Ferrer chronicles four centuries of Cuban history and outlines the island’s complex relationship with the United States. In her view, present-day Cuba may be politically sovereign, but it is economically vulnerable—and its future is tenuous.

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Gewirtz provides a vivid and readable account of Chinese politics in the period between Mao Zedong’s death and shortly after the Tiananmen Square massacre, arguing that a more liberal development path was possible for China—and that Beijing might have pursued it under different circumstances.

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Political and Legal

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The United States

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Avlon’s highly readable, original treatment of President Abraham Lincoln’s tragically interrupted plans to advance political reconciliation in the wake of the U.S. Civil War is particularly timely now in a polarized United States and world.

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Western Europe

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Olmsted examines how the most powerful media moguls in the United Kingdom and the United States whitewashed Adolf Hitler’s actions and embraced sensationalism and untruth throughout the 1930s—reminding readers that nationalist press outlets that disseminate fake news, praise foreign autocrats, and practice dog-whistle politics are nothing new.

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Western Hemisphere

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Haynes proposes an alternative to the traditional foundational myth of Texas, in which a heroic American resistance overcame Mexican despotism—instead illuminating a pre-independence history in which English speakers, Hispanics, indigenous tribes, and freed Blacks coexisted in relative harmony under Mexican rule.

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Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics

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Navalny: Putin’s Nemesis, Russia’s Future?

by Jan Matti Dollbaum, Morvan Lallouet, and Ben Noble

In the first English-language book about Alexei Navalny, the leader of the Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin, the authors follow Navalny’s trajectory to becoming Russia’s most prominent political prisoner—and, along the way, explain how corruption secures Putin’s rule instead of eroding it, why support for Putin remains broad, and why Navalny’s current imprisonment speeds Russia’s descent toward full-fledged dictatorship.

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Middle East

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El-Ghobashy elegantly recounts the years of upheaval in Egypt between the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak and the 2014 election of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, analyzing sources of political contestation and stressing the uncertainty and volatility of those years.

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Asia and Pacific

Africa

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In this powerful book, Elischer explains how some African states avoided a rise in Salafi political violence by responding to early signs of emerging extremism, while others were complacent and allowed Islamic groups to organize themselves and become a threat.

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In this strikingly original study, Schouten shows how local actors seek to gain power and resources by controlling the road networks in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He demonstrates that these roadblocks profoundly fuel long-standing conflicts and hamper efforts at institution building in central Africa.

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