The Men Who United the States

Simon Winchester (The Professor and the Madman) chronicles singular individuals ("Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks") whose stubborn genius lashed a nascent nation together into a powerful and glorious whole.

April 15: "A page...will begin with some principles of astronomy, or the motion of the earth; then come the laws of sound..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…