Friday, November 4, 2016

Books By Theme: Politics

"No one knows where he has been and who he has met, and he is in no hurry to tell them."
~ from Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies

Simpsons politics

historical fiction Emancipator's Wife Barbara Hambly
by Barbara Hambly

She survived the Civil War and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, as well as her husband's assassination and the deaths of three of her four children. Now, her sole surviving son is attempting to have her declared legally insane -- a ruling that would commit her to an institution for the rest of her days. One could forgive Mary Todd Lincoln for her despair. But how did it come to this? The Emancipator's Wife follows its flawed-but-sympathetic protagonist from her childhood in Kentucky as the daughter of a prominent Lexington family through her marriage to up-and-coming Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln, and beyond.

Watergate Thomas Mallon historical fiction book
by Thomas Mallon

A break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, located in Washington, D.C.'s Watergate Complex, ignites a political scandal that brings down the Nixon administration and causes a constitutional crisis. This witty, character-driven novel depicts multiple viewpoints including those of the President and First Lady; Nixon's loyal secretary Rose Mary Woods; presidential aide and "bagman" Fred LaRue; ex-CIA operative-turned-novelist E. Howard Hunt; nonagenarian socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth, and more. Fans of Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic should enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at insider politics.

historical fiction Tudors Hilary Mantel
by Hilary Mantel

This sequel to Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize-winning Wolf Hall continues the story of ambitious courtier Thomas Cromwell's career. Having achieved the pinnacle of success as King Henry VIII's chief minister, Cromwell -- who used cunning and political gamesmanship to secure the annulment that dissolved the King's marriage to Catherine of Aragon and severed the bonds between the Anglican Church and Rome -- must once again appease his sovereign. This time, his task is to replace Anne Boleyn, who has failed to produce a male heir to the throne, with Henry's latest obsession, Jane Seymour. However, dispensing with yet another queen is a tricky business, and one false step could cost Cromwell everything.

historical fiction politics Anchee Min
by Anchee Min

Something of a social chameleon, the future Madame Mao begins her life as Yuhne, the unwanted daughter of a concubine who subjects her, at the age of four, to foot-binding and, later, to an arranged marriage, before the girl runs off to pursue a career on the Shanghai stage. Changing her name to Lan Ping, she enjoys moderate success as an actress before "subversive" activities lead to a stint in prison -- and to her involvement with China's communist party. Assuming yet another identity, she becomes the mistress and ultimately the wife of communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong. Anchee Min's "stunning, powerful portrait" (Booklist) of a controversial yet undeniably complicated and passionate woman also provides insight into China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution.

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