he Day Wall Street Exploded
by Beverly Gage (Oxford, $27.95)
Sept. 11, 2001, was hardly the first time terrorists have attacked New York’s Financial District, said Devin Leonard in The New York Times. Beverly Gage’s “engaging narrative” recounts how, 81 years earlier, someone detonated a shrapnel-filled bomb on Wall Street that killed 38. Officials soon “shredded civil-rights laws” searching for the culprits, whom they never caught. Parallels to today’s war on terror abound, but Gage “leaves it to her readers to draw their own connections.”
by Dan Baum (Spiegel & Grau, $26)
Dan Baum’s “kaleidoscopic, quick-cut” narratives follow nine New Orleans residents from the 1960s to the present day, said Jerry Shriver in USA Today. The New Yorker writer “paints incredibly intimate portraits” of a transsexual bartender, a “jazz-blowing” coroner, and other folks who could only exist in the Crescent
City. Though his lively collage can be “unwieldy,” his sympathy for working-class struggles and his nose for “gut-wrenching and life-affirming” stories are frequently reminiscent of Studs Terkel.
The Gardner Heist
by Ulrich Boser (Collins, $26)
Ulrich Boser has created a “thrill” of a book from the greatest unsolved art theft in history, said Kriston Capps in the London Guardian. No, Boser’s own investigation hasn’t turned up any of the three Rembrandts or 10 other masterpieces that were lifted from Boston’s Gardner Museum on March 19, 1990. But his account does shed new light on the case as the author follows “whispers in the underworld” and encounters a colorful cast of crime figures, “hard-nosed FBI agents,” and various art-world obsessives.
Down at the Docks
by Rory Nugent (Pantheon, $25)
The waterfront of New Bedford, Mass., is a “Mafia-infested wilderness” in Rory Nugent’s elegiac “memoir of place,” said Alan Littell in the San Francisco Chronicle. “We tread in his wake” past fish houses, crack houses, and whorehouses, soaking up the author’s vignettes about “down-and-out fishermen, dope peddlers, insurance cheats, schemers of every stripe.” Though superfluous profanity clutters his otherwise crisp prose, Nugent “has a nose for sleaze,” and “he evokes it with panache.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- Repealing ObamaCare would now mean kicking 4.2 million people off their new insurance plans
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
- Watch Zach Galifianakis get annoyed at President Obama on Between Two Ferns
Subscribe to the Week