NF

Nonfiction

“Books HD” by Abee5 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship–and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.


No Filter is a human story, as Sarah Frier uncovers how the company’s decisions have fundamentally changed how we interact with the world around us. Frier draws on unprecedented exclusive access—from the founders of Instagram, as well as employees, executives, and competitors; Anna Wintour of Vogue; Kris Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner empire; and a plethora of influencers, from fashionistas with millions of followers to owners of famous dogs worldwide—to show how Instagram has fundamentally changed the way we shop, eat, travel, and communicate, all while fighting to preserve the values which contributed to the company’s success. No Filter examines how Instagram’s dominance acts as lens into our society today, highlighting our fraught relationship with technology, our desire for perfection, and the battle within tech for its most valuable commodity: our attention. 


Young George Washington was raised by a struggling single mother, demanded military promotions, chased rich young women, caused an international incident, and never backed down—even when his dysentery got so bad he had to ride with a cushion on his saddle.But after he married Martha, everything changed. Washington became the kind of man who named his dog Sweetlips and hated to leave home. He took up arms against the British only when there was no other way, though he lost more battles than he won. Coe focuses on his activities off the battlefield—like espionage and propaganda.

After an unlikely victory in the Revolutionary War, Washington once again shocked the world by giving up power, only to learn his compatriots wouldn’t allow it. The founders pressured him into the presidency—twice. He established enduring norms but left office heartbroken over the partisan nightmare his backstabbing cabinet had created. Back on his plantation, the man who fought for liberty finally confronted his greatest hypocrisy—what to do with the hundreds of men, women, and children he owned—before succumbing to a brutal death.


Benedict uncovers surprising new details about the inner workings of a team notorious for its secrecy. Readers are in the room when Robert Kraft outmaneuvers a legion of lawyers and investors in his quest to buy the team. We observe the heated disagreements between Kraft and legendary coach Bill Parcells that led to their breakup. We listen in on the phone call when the greatest trade ever made—Bill Belichick for a first round draft choice—is negotiated. We are in the emergency room when doctors scramble to save franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe as his chest is filling up with blood from a lacerated artery. And we look over the shoulder of forty-year-old Tom Brady as a surgeon performs a procedure on his throwing hand on the eve of the AFC Championship game in 2018.

What emerges is an intimate portrait that captures the human drama of the dynasty’s three key characters—Kraft, Belichick, and Brady. The result is perhaps the most compelling and illuminating book that will ever be written about the greatest professional sports team of our time


Stamped traces the history of racism and the many political, literary, and philosophical narratives that have been used to justify slavery, oppression, and genocide. Framed through the ideologies and thoughts of segregationists, assimilationists, and antiracists throughout history, the book demonstrates that the “construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, whether financially or politically,” and that this power has been used to systemically and systematically oppress Black people in the United States for more than four hundred years.


Flowers in the Gutter is told from the points of view Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean, three young people from working-class neighborhoods in Cologne, beginning with their pre-school years at the dawn of the Third Reich in the 1930s. Gaddy shows how political activism was always a part of their lives and how they witnessed first-hand the toll it took on their parents–and how they still carried the torch for justice when it was their turn.
Once the war began, Gertrude, Fritz, and Jean and their friends survived and even resisted in one of the most heavily bombed cities in Germany. Gaddy includes tense accounts of fights with Hitler Youth and the Gestapo, of disseminating anti-Nazi pamphlets, of helping POWs and forced laborers, and even of sabotaging Nazi factories.
Ultimately, the war ended tragically for several young pirates, and Gaddy shows how post-war politics and prejudices led to these young men and women being branded criminals for decades after the war.


The story of the victory by the U.S. men’s hockey team over the vaunted Soviets in the 1980 Winter Olympics is still as luminous and improbable as it was nearly 25 years ago: a group of plucky but not overwhelmingly gifted young amateurs, whose style of play is overhauled by their mercurial but visionary coach Herb Brooks, taking on the virtually unbeatable Soviet pros on their way to a gold medal. In his unintended but effective companion to Disney’s 2004 movie Miracle, sportswriter Coffey details, period by period, the events of that historic game. In doing so, he also tells the individual stories, past and present, of the team and offers a sympathetic view of the Soviet side as well.


Berkeley, California, 1933. In a lab filled with curiosities–beakers, microscopes, Bunsen burners, and hundreds upon hundreds of books–sat an investigator who would go on to crack at least two thousand cases in his forty-year career. Known as the “American Sherlock Holmes,” Edward Oscar Heinrich was one of America’s greatest–and first–forensic scientists.

Heinrich was one of the nation’s first expert witnesses, working in a time when the turmoil of Prohibition led to sensationalized crime reporting and only a small, systematic study of evidence. However with his brilliance, and commanding presence in both the courtroom and at crime scenes, Heinrich spearheaded the invention of a myriad of new forensic tools that police still use today, including blood spatter analysis, ballistics, lie-detector tests, and the use of fingerprints as courtroom evidence. His work, though not without its serious–some would say fatal–flaws, changed the course of American criminal investigation.


One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.


In the summer of 1971, Jack Gantos was an aspiring writer looking for adventure, cash for college tuition, and a way out of a dead-end job. For ten thousand dollars, he recklessly agreed to help sail a sixty-foot yacht loaded with a ton of hashish from the Virgin Islands to New York City, where he and his partners sold the drug until federal agents caught up with them. For his part in the conspiracy, Gantos was sentenced to serve up to six years in prison. But once he was locked up in a small, yellow-walled cell, he found inspiration. He moved from wanting to be a writer to writing, and ultimately overcame the worst experience of his life