AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work AheadBy Alan S. Blinder. (Penguin Press, $29.95.) The former Fed vice chairman says confidence would have returned faster with better government communication about policy.
THE BARBAROUS YEARS. The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675By Bernard Bailyn. (Knopf, $35.) A noted Harvard historian looks at the chaotic decades between Jamestown and King Philip’s War.
THE BILLIONAIRE’S APPRENTICE: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge FundBy Anita Raghavan. (Business Plus, $29.)Indian-Americans populate every aspect of this meticulously reported true-life business thriller.
THE BLOOD TELEGRAM: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten GenocideBy Gary J. Bass. (Knopf, $30.) Bass reveals the sordid White House diplomacy that attended the birth of Bangladesh in 1971.
THE BULLY PULPIT: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of JournalismBy Doris Kearns Goodwin. (Simon & Schuster, $40.)Historical parallels in Goodwin’s latest time machine implicitly ask us to look at our own age.
CATASTROPHE 1914: Europe Goes to WarBy Max Hastings. (Knopf, $35.) This excellent chronicle of World War I’s first months by a British military historian dispels some popular myths.
COMMAND AND CONTROL: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of SafetyBy Eric Schlosser. (Penguin Press, $36.) A disquieting but riveting examination of nuclear risk.
EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI: The Concubine Who Launched Modern ChinaBy Jung Chang. (Knopf, $30.) Chang portrays Cixi as a proto-feminist and reformer in this authoritative account.
THE GUNS AT LAST LIGHT: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945By Rick Atkinson. (Holt, $40.) The final volume of Atkinson’s monumental war trilogy shows that the road to Berlin was far from smooth.
LAWRENCE IN ARABIA: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle EastBy Scott Anderson. (Doubleday, $28.95.) By contextualizing T. E. Lawrence, Anderson is able to address modern themes like oil, jihad and the Arab-Jewish conflict.
MY PROMISED LAND: The Triumph and Tragedy of IsraelBy Ari Shavit. (Spiegel & Grau, $28.) Shavit, a columnist for Haaretz, expresses both solidarity with and criticism of his countrymen in this important and powerful book.
THE SLEEPWALKERS: How Europe Went to War in 1914By Christopher Clark. (Harper, $29.99.) A Cambridge professor offers a thoroughly comprehensible account of the polarization of a continent, without fixing guilt on one leader or nation.
THOSE ANGRY DAYS: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941By Lynne Olson. (Random House, $30.) The savage political dispute between Roosevelt and the isolationist movement, presented in spellbinding detail.
UNTHINKABLE: Iran, the Bomb, and American StrategyBy Kenneth M. Pollack. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) The Mideast expert makes the case for living with a nuclear Iran and trying to contain it.
THE WAR THAT ENDED PEACE: The Road to 1914By Margaret MacMillan. (Random House, $35.) Why did the peace fail, a Canadian historian asks, and she offers superb portraits of the men who took Europe to war in the summer of 1914.
YEAR ZERO: A History of 1945By Ian Buruma. (Penguin Press, $29.95.) This lively history shows how the Good War turned out badly for many people and splendidly for others less deserving.