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    Apartheid in America

    Most ‘enlightened’ whites in the antebellum era saw segregating free blacks as the only possible peaceful solution to the horror of slavery. Mark G. Spencer reviews “Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation” by Nicholas Guyatt.

From Review

Book Reviews

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    Don DeLillo Tackles Cryopreservation in ‘Zero K’

    Don DeLillo is about to publish his 16th novel, “Zero K.” He talks about the mysterious image that sparked the work and the strangeness of being almost 80.

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    David Lagercrantz, Without Stieg Larsson

    Swedish author David Lagercrantz is known in the U.S. for ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web.’ Next up: ‘Fall of Man in Wilmslow,’ a historical mystery that isn’t about Lisbeth Salander.

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    Richard Russo’s Latest Novel: ‘Everybody’s Fool’

    The book picks up a decade after the ending of 1993’s “Nobody’s Fool.’

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    Winning at Life—And Death

    The author, who suffers from Parkinson’s, thinks of himself as a ‘scout,’ sent out ahead of his Baby Boomer peers as they near decrepitude. Peter Stothard reviews “Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide” by Michael Kinsley.

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    The Agony of the Arab Spring

    Of the five countries where citizens rose up in 2011, only Tunisia is relatively stable and free. It also produces the most Islamic State recruits. Bartle Bull reviews “A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS” by Robert F. Worth.

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    Five Essential Books on Art History

    Hannah Rothschild, the writer, filmmaker and chair of London’s National Gallery’s Board of Trustees, on the best books to begin, or continue, an art history education.

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    Ignoring the Shale Revolution

    U.S. oil production, at nearly nine million barrels per day, is nine times what Hubbert predicted it would be in the 21st century. R. Tyler Priest reviews “The Oracle of Oil: A Maverick Geologist’s Quest for a Sustainable Future” by Mason Inman.

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    The Miracle in Your Coffee Cup

    Domino’s Pizza is actually in the logistics business, funneling pineapple from Thailand, boxes from Georgia and salt from Minnesota. Kyle Peterson reviews “Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation” by Edward Humes.

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    Five Best: Douglas Kennedy

    The author, most recently, of the novel “The Blue Hour” on bad marriages.

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    The Invention of Cake

    German chocolate cake has nothing to do with Germany; it’s named after a British chocolatier. Danny Heitman reviews “Cake: A Slice of History” by Alysa Levene.

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    Physics for Dummies

    Alan Hirshfeld reviews “Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” by Carlo Rovelli and “The Universe in Your Hand: A Journey Through Space, Time, and Beyond” by Christophe Galfard. Both authors convey us to the furthest outpost of our scientific knowledge, from which physicists are blazing trails into the benighted region beyond.

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    All Women Have the Same Part-Time Job

    Helen Gurley Brown rejected feminist calls for authenticity. She saw being a woman as a role—one to be mastered.

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    Kick Kennedy: Young and in Love

    Strait-laced young Brits were quickly charmed by the chatty, high-spirited daughter of the new American ambassador. Richard Davenport-Hines reviews “Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter” by Barbara Leaming.

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    Dizzy’s Trip to the Top of the Greasy Pole

    The higher his political profile rose, the more he stirred resentment. Benjamin Balint reviews “Disraeli: The Novel Politician” by David Cesarani.

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    Thomas Paine: Practical Revolutionary

    Paine imagined ambitious bridge-building as a way of binding together a new and expanding nation. Kathleen DuVal reviews “Tom Paine’s Iron Bridge: Building a United States” by Edward G. Gray.

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    Why We Climb

    Even as “mountain men” were settling the West, climbing was becoming a popular form of tourism.

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    Sam Sacks on the Best New Fiction

    The hilarious gloss on a Viagra ad that features a middle-aged man alone on a boat is itself worth the cover price of Jim Lynch’s “Before the Wind.”

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    The Brilliance of Bird Brains

    If a crow realizes that another bird has seen it burying food, it will often go back later to re-hide it.

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    Shakespeare the Conqueror

    An Indian “Romeo and Juliet” released on the eve of partition featured a Hindu Romeo and a Muslim Juliet. Jonathan Bate reviews “Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe” by Andrew Dickson.

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    Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Best Children’s Books

    Meghan Cox Gurdon reviews two novels for younger readers: Lauren Wolk’s “Wolf Hollow” and Robin Stevens’s “Poison Is Not Polite.”

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    This Is Your Brain Online

    We live in the information age, yet we know less and less. We are manic about photographing our lives, but we remember less and less. Alan Jacobs reviews “When We Are No More” by Abby Smith Rumsey and “The Internet of Us” by Michael Patrick Lynch.

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    Tracy Chevalier Picks ‘Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ for Book Club

    Novelist Tracy Chevalier (“Girl With a Pearl Earring”) picks Anne Brontë’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” for the WSJ Book Club.

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    The Season’s Most Exciting Fiction Reads

    Several new releases by up-and-coming authors are vying for top billing on summer reading lists (including two that earned their first-time authors a hefty advance). With such quality offerings, fiction fans can bank on a season of exceptional reading.

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    A Nation at War With Itself

    When FDR ran for an unprecedented third term, his outraged cousin Alice quipped that his initials stood for ‘Führer, Duce, Roosevelt.’

  • What to Read This Spring

    Batman vs. the Batfans; being a Vanderbilt; behind the scenes at ‘Hamilton;’ a missing Velázquez and much more

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    The Color Line, 500 Years Later

    Living in the ghetto, one sociologist noted in 1945, was like wearing a ‘badge of color’—not unlike the yellow star worn by European Jews. Jerry Brotton reviews “Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea” by Mitchell Duneier.

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    Real Reasons to Dislike Globalization

    You don’t have to be an anti-globalist to find Dubai repugnant. Fifth-century Athens produced Plato. Dubai produces bling. Adrian Wooldridge reviews “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization” by Parag Khanna.

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    Russia’s Wily Men and Women

    Russians hold views that seem impossible to reconcile. Students at a reputable school offer a curious mix of heroes: Stalin and Steve Jobs.

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    Abigail Adams: The American Eve

    Adams was fitted to an era when truths previously considered self-evident were suddenly up for grabs. Jane Kamensky reviews “Abigail Adams: Letters” edited by Edith Gelles.

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    The Thief of Macedon

    The funeral pyre built for Hephaestion burnt up a trove equal to imperial Athens’s yearly revenue. James Romm reviews “The Treasures of Alexander: How One Man’s Wealth Shaped the World” by Frank L. Holt.

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    Meghan Cox Gurdon on the Best New Children’s Books

    Meghan Cox Gurdon reviews “The Lie Tree” by Frances Hardinge; “Ollie’s Odyssey” by William Joyce; “Stop Following Me, Moon!” by Darren Farrell; and “Miró’s Magic Animals” by Anthony Penrose.

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    The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible

    Moses Wilhelm Shapira’s scrolls seemed to have been written in Moses’s day and contained a copy of Deuteronomy. Isaac Chotiner reviews “The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible” by Chanan Tigay.

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    The Space Shuttle and NASA’s Mission to Nowhere

    The fantasy of a low-cost reusable shuttle set us on the path to today's aimless space program. Gregg Easterbrook reviews “Into the Black” by Rowland White.

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    The Mass Graves of Natural History Museums

    Bone rooms were created in part to characterize races and to affirm, implicitly, a hierarchy. Edward Rothstein reviews “Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums” by Samuel J. Redman.

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    Tom Nolan on the Best New Mysteries

    An accidental lord in 14th-century England investigates unsettling deaths in his village.

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    The Pitcher’s Best Friend Is a Surgeon

    More than half of all Tommy John surgeries are now performed on
    15- to 19-year-old athletes. Jonah Keri reviews “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports” by Jeff Passan.

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    The Woman Who Won 27 Pulitzers and 16 Nobel Prizes

    It was Blanche Knopf, not Alfred A., who had the taste to pick great writers and the tact to woo them. Blake Bailey reviews “The Lady With the Borzoi: Blanche Knopf, Literary Tastemaker Extraordinaire” by Laura Claridge.

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    Sam Sacks on the Best New Novels

    Now arrives volume five of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s long literary selfie.

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    The Guy Who Put Dukakis in the Tank

    One rule the 1988 fiasco cemented: Never, ever put headgear on a presidential candidate. Tevi Troy reviews “Off Script: An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide” by Josh King.

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    Five Best: Robert W. Merry

    The author, most recently, of “Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians” on presidential campaigns.

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    Turning Rustbelts Into Brainbelts

    Albany is now a hub of nanoscale science. But getting it off the ground was expensive: Every job created cost taxpayers nearly $1 million. Marc Levinson reviews “The Smartest Places on Earth” by Antoine van Agtmael and Fred Bakker.

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    Lessons for Prideful Politicians

    The Truman-Vandenberg partnership realized the Marshall Plan, NATO, the UN Charter, the CIA, the Defense Department and the Air Force. Richard Aldous reviews “Harry and Arthur” by Lawrence J. Haas.

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    The Science of Serendipity

    In 1973 Anthony Hopkins found ‘The Girl From Petrovka’ on a bench just as he was making a film based on the book. What are the odds? Amir Alexander reviews “Fluke: The Math and Myth of Coincidence” by Joseph Mazur.

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    Why Smart Folk Snort Coke

    Conventional wisdom insists that addiction is a disease, like cancer. But addiction is learned; cancer isn’t. Most people grow out of drug use. Sally Satel reviews “Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction” by Maia Szalavitz.

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    Her Eyes Had Seen the Glory

    Howe’s artistic ambitions were thwarted by her husband. ‘Hope died as I was led,’ she wrote in one poem, ‘unto my marriage bed.’ Benjamin Soskis reviews “The Civil Wars of Julia Ward Howe” by Elaine Showalter.

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