Also of interest…
In 21st-century history
Fall and Rise
by Mitchell Zuckoff (Harper, $30)
“Time, in fact, does not heal all wounds,” said Clyde Haberman in The New York Times. This careful reconstruction of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, created by a journalist who wrote The Boston Globe’s next-day account, derives its power from its focus on individuals who experienced the worst of the attacks. “Many of the details are hard to take: the melted flesh, the pulverized bodies.” But a full generation has come of age with no memory of that day, and “it needs to hear what happened.”
by Ben Mezrich (Flatiron, $28)
How the tall, preppy Winklevoss twins of Social Network fame cashed in on cryptocurrency is a fairly straightforward story, said Steven Poole in TheGuardian.com. But best-selling author Ben Mezrich uses the brothers’ gamble to make an anthropological study of the Bitcoin craze. The Winkelvosses represented the phenomenon’s respectable side; imprisoned Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, the other, and Mezrich’s slickly written account suggests that cryptocurrency will turn out to be merely a fad.
The Great Successor
by Anna Fifield (PublicAffairs, $28)
“There are few world leaders past or present we know less about than North Korea’s reclusive, nuclear-armed bad boy,” said Scott Neuman in NPR.org. But The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield has created a fuller portrait of Kim Jong Un by digging up new details about his upbringing and rise to power, relying on defectors and rare secondhand sources. To Fifield, “Kim is anything but a madman”; instead, he’s a clever, ruthless manipulator of his own people and of foreign leaders.
Places and Names
by Elliot Ackerman (Penguin, $26)
Elliot Ackerman’s new war memoir is “above all a restless book,” said Christina Lamb in The Sunday Times (U.K.). The acclaimed novelist won a Silver Star while serving in the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he seems to be trying to answer a question about the conflict without knowing what question. Still, “Ackerman is a master of dagger-sharp prose and memorable detail.” Though aimless, Places and Names is “so readable, I forewent sleep and devoured it in one plane journey.”