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The Unwinding

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Nonfiction.  George Packer gives voice to Americans grappling with a transformed nation in this panoramic, deeply felt portrait of small towns and once-thriving cities on the decline.  Our reviewer Brooke Allen found in Packer's true stories "the expansive fictional techniques of Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo."

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On Saudi Arabia

Pulitzer Prize winner Karen Elliott House has spent three decades pondering the enigma that is Saudi Arabia. The paradoxes of a modern oil-producing nation still mired in many medievalisms, and the global impact of that curious blend of old and new attitudes, provoke insightful analysis of a country that is both an American ally and source of Islamist terrorism.

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Throwing Stones at the Moon

The destinies of the United States and Colombia seem inextricably intertwined as two poles of the trade in illegal drugs. This collection of oral histories captures the effects of that relationship on the smaller nation with savage intensity. Editors Sibylla Brodzinsky and Max Schoening have interviewed a broad range of undefeated victims, soliciting heartfelt first-person reportage that brings home the human cost of violence inflicted by rebel and soldier alike.

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The Twilight War

Beginning with the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 and exacerbated by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a low-level conflict between Iran and the United States has simmered for more than three decades. Historian David Crist draws on ten years of research to reveal the hidden skirmishes behind the headlines.

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The Dictator's Learning Curve

With despots toppled in Egypt and Libya and pro-democracy demonstrations convulsing Syria and Russia, the conflict between repression and liberation has reached new heights. This powerful work of reporting illuminates the challenges faced by advocates of free societies everywhere.

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Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works

Whether you think health care reform is the best thing since Superman's cape or America's kryptonite, chances are you could stand to understand it better. MIT economist and health care policy expert Jonathan Gruber to the rescue! Gruber, whose work in Massachusetts paved the way for 2009's sweeping national health care overhaul, breaks it all down (Pow! Bam!) for even the most easily confused among us, teaming up with illustrator Nathan Schreiber to bring us a lively, opinionated explanation in the form of, yes, a comic book.

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July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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