Posted on

Remembrance of Bookstores Past

New York City is home to wonderful bookstores, but there used to be so many more of them to choose from — from Coliseum Books, just south of Columbus Circle; to Ivy’s Curiosities and Murder Ink on the Upper West Side; to the dearly departed St. Mark’s Bookshop in the East Village. By one count, there were 386 booksellers in Manhattan in 1950, including almost 40 on a six-block stretch of Fourth Avenue. (By comparison, there are fewer than 100 in the city now.) Here’s a look back at a few old favorites. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Shadowman: An Elusive Psycho Killer and the Birth of FBI Profiling

In this exceptional true crime account, Franscell (The Darkest Night) tells the fascinating story of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit’s early days and the very first psychological profile used to catch a killer … Franscell’s portrait of rural Montana will remind many of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, and the way he weaves together the threads of the different killings is spellbinding. This is a must for Mindhunter fans. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Hell’s Half-Acre: The Untold Story of the Benders, a Serial Killer Family on the American Frontier

Drawing on a wealth of primary sources, historian Jonusas debuts with an impressive and deeply unsettling account of the Benders, a family of German immigrants who killed at least 10 people after they settled in Kansas’s Labette County in 1870 … Radiant prose enhances the page-turning narrative. The combination of true crime and a vivid depiction of frontier life earn this a spot on the shelf next to David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Gangsters of Capitalism: Smedley Butler, the Marines, and the Making and Breaking of America’s Empire

Journalist Katz (The Big Truck That Went By) delivers a searing and well-documented portrait of early 20th-century U.S. imperialism focused on the career of U.S. Marine Corps major general Smedley D. Butler (1881–1940). Contending that American military actions served the interests of U.S. business and financial institutions, often with dire effects on local people, Katz provides the geopolitical context behind interventions in China, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and elsewhere, and visits each location to document the legacy of U.S. interference. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

What Did Dallas Learn from Rediscovering a Suppressed Book?

Dallas, Schutze argues in The Accommodation, has always been “much more Southern, with stronger roots in slave culture,” than most residents know or care to admit. His book traces how the city’s white “business oligarchy” was able to achieve a relatively smooth transition into legal desegregation during the Civil Rights era — it’s an oft-cited source of civic pride that Dallas in the 1960s avoided the racial unrest of cities such as Little Rock and Los Angeles — while finding “informal ways to maintain actual and total separation” of the races into the present day. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

Replete with accounts of Polly’s many court battles, newspaper headlines, mobster dealings and society gossip, “Madam” is a breathless tale told through extraordinary research. Indeed, the galloping pace of Applegate’s book sometimes makes the reader want to pull out a white flag and wave in surrender — begging for her to slow down. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)

Posted on

Marjoleine Kars wins 2021 Cundill History Prize

Marjoleine Kars has been named winner of the 2021 Cundill History Prize for Blood on the River: a Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press). Kars accessed a previously untapped Dutch archive to reveal the little-known story of a 1763 slave rebellion in Berbice, a Dutch colony in present-day Guyana. Drawing on nearly 900 interrogation transcripts – extremely rare verbatim accounts from suspected rebels, bystanders, and witnesses – she is able to provide a unique day-by-day account of the revolt, in the words of both colonists and, crucially, the slaves themselves. Read more

(We earn a small commission if you click above and buy the book at Bookshop.org)