May 13, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, Tom Reiss explores the inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo, Ben MacIntyre depicts a World War II effort to fool the Nazis, and Justin Lee recounts his struggle for acceptance as a gay Christian. In fiction, Dennis Lehane imagines a Prohibition-era mobster.
Apr 25, 2013 — In 1839, Great Britain and Russia were playing the world map like a chessboard — and for no reason other than geography, Afghanistan got caught in the middle. In Return of a King, historian William Dalrymple tells the story of Britain's calamitous invasion.
Dec 28, 2012 — Our list of this year's best biographies focuses on books about individuals who lived their lives off the beaten path. From the story of a spy turned chef to the story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, these books chronicle subjects who refused to conform to the expectations of others.
Dec 11, 2012 — In The Generals, Thomas Ricks examines U.S. military leadership from World War Two to the present day. He concludes that the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan can be traced to the Army's inability to come to terms with all the lessons of Vietnam.
Dec 3, 2012 — Writer Tamim Ansary was born in Afghanistan, and his new book, Games Without Rules, traces the country's turbulent history over the past two centuries. The title refers both to the game played for control of Afghanistan and the popular sport of buzkashi, a sort of chaotic polo played with a goat carcass.
Nov 1, 2012 — Thomas Ricks' new book, The Generals, is about what he sees as a decline of American military leadership and accountability. He says that in World War II, generals were held accountable for their lack of success — but that started to change with the Korean War.
Oct 29, 2012 — During World War II, even successful generals could be fired. But after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, no one was fired. A new book from Thomas Ricks examines the changes in our military over the past 60 years.
Sep 19, 2012 — Tom Reiss places Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a general in Revolutionary France and the father of the Count of Monte Cristo author, atop a high pedestal. With clear admiration, Reiss explains that the triumphs and travails of the elder Dumas inspired his son's adventure novels.
Sep 15, 2012 — Did you know the Count of Monte Cristo was based on a real man? General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was a hero of the French Revolution. But he's now forgotten by almost everyone except the son who shared his name and used his father's life as inspiration for some of the greatest novels of all time.
Mar 15, 2012 — Historian Andrew Preston says questions in an undergraduate class he was teaching at the start of the 2003 invasion of Iraq spurred the research for his new book, Sword of the Spirit, Shield of Faith. "Once I started looking for religion [in U.S. foreign policy], it was everywhere," he says.