Put Away the Beach Books: Fall Brings Serious Reads

Posted July 26, 2010 at 4:24pm

Publishers often use the months of late summer and fall to roll out their serious books, pushing aside — at least temporarily — the fluffy beach reads. This autumn will see no shortage of political books, history books, policy books and, of course, pre-election screeds. Here’s a selection of what’s in store.

• “More Davids Than Goliaths: A Political Education,” by former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr., chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, is a mixture of Ford’s personal history, political narrative and “an audacious and heartfelt articulation of the values and principles by which Ford lives his life.” (On sale Aug. 10.)

• “Churchill’s Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II,” by journalist Madhusree Mukerjee, argues that during the war, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made decisions concerning India that ultimately led to the deaths of about three million Indians. (On sale Aug. 10)

• “Politics — According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture,” by Christian theologian Wayne Grudem, takes a number of controversial topics — same-sex marriage, abortion, capital punishment, Islamic terrorism — and looks at what the Bible has to say about them all. He decides as a result that the Republican Party is more in line with biblical teachings. (On sale Sept. 3)

• “Permanently Blue: How Democrats Can End the Republican Party and Rule the Next Generation,” by Huffington Post columnist Dylan Loewe, supposedly lays out a game plan for Democrats, although the book may have underestimated the rebound ability of the Republican Party during the next election cycle. (On sale Sept. 7)

• “Pinstripe Patronage: Political Favoritism From the Clubhouse to the White House and Beyond,” by Martin and Susan J. Tolchin, is a sequel to the couple’s 1971 book, “To the Victor: Political Patronage From the Clubhouse to the White House,” written in the wake of Supreme Court decisions restricting political patronage. (On sale
Sept. 15)

• “Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View,” by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, is more about the court and less about the French-speaking former Eagle Scout and high school debater. In this book, Breyer refutes the strict constructionism of the conservatives on the current court. (On sale Sept. 14)

• “Prelude to Catastrophe: FDR’s Jews and the Menace of Nazism,” by Robert Shogan, investigates the Jews who were close to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and how much effect they had on him and the policies of his administration. (On sale Sept. 16)

• “Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America,” by David Kahane (whose real name is Michael Walsh), offers a game plan for a conservative political victory. (On sale Sept. 28)

• “Madison and Jefferson,” by professors Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg, looks at the different styles of the one man who was a national icon and the other who was a relative unknown. (On sale Sept. 28)

• “This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won the Minnesota Senate Recount,” by journalist Jay Weiner, takes a look at the Minnesota election recount that won Sen. Al Franken (D) his post. (On sale Oct. 5)

• “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption,” by “Seabiscuit” author Laura Hillenbrand, tells the story of Army bombardier Louis Zamperini, who was captured by the Japanese and finally liberated. (On sale Nov. 16)